Home > News

CEATL presents: “Translating for Peace”
CEATL presents: “Translating for Peace”
29 Sep, 2023


Once again, CEATL members from all over Europe decided to mark this day by creating a short video celebrating literary translators and their passion for language and literature.

CEATL as an organisation has been clearly on the side of Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian aggression. We invited the Ukrainian PEN and UATI already in 2022 to take part in our 2022 AGM in Sofia, and we hosted the Ukrainian group “Translators in Action” in our 2023 AGM in Ljubljana. It is hard to celebrate anything during times of war, so CEATL’s message for the International Translation Day is a call for peace: any aggression has to cease, any aggressor has to be judged.

Svetlana Alexievich is one of the most renowned dissident voices of the post-Soviet space. Alexievich has strongly opposed the dictatorial regimes in Belarus and Russia, and is currently living in exile. Born to a Belarusian father and a Ukrainian mother, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2015 for her “novels of voices”, amongst which is to be found The Unwomanly Face of War. Watch nineteen translators from all over Europe, all of them members of the associations which make up CEATL, read a this excerpt in their respective translations:

Пишу не историю войны
а историю чувств.

Я — историк души.

I write not the history of a war,
but the history of feelings.  

I am a historian of the soul.

The video was produced by CEATL’s Working Group on Visibility, which collects data on translators’ cultural visibility, and coordinates pan-European visibility initiatives. For CEATL, improving translators’ visibility is key to achieving a better socio-economic position, and thus higher translation quality.

‘Translating for Peace’ can also be viewed on Vimeo (https://vimeo NULL.com/868893830).

Special thanks to Svetlana Alexievich, and her translators and readers in order of appearance:
Finnish – Pauli Tapio
Swedish – Kajsa Öberg Lindsten
Lithuanian – Alma Lapinskienė
Polish – Jerzy Czech, read by Irena Sierakowska
Romanian – Ion Covaci, read by Justina Bandol (translator)
Bulgarian – Boyan Stankov
Croatian – Kristijan Poklečki
Hungarian – Iván Földeák
Slovenian – Jani Rebec
German – Ganna-Maria Braungardt
Danish – Tine Roesen
Dutch – Jan Robert Braat
English – Richard Pevear (reader) & Larissa Volokhonsky
French – Galia Ackerman & Paul Lequesne (reader)
Italian – Sergio Rapetti
Catalan – Miquel Cabal Guarro
Spanish – Zahara García González & Yulia Dobrovolskaia

Video by Viviana Sebastio
Coordination by Eva Valvo

Related news