THE POWER OF CULUTRAL DIPLOMACY: LITERATURE WITHOUT BOARDERS
The Power of Cultural Diplomacy: Literature without Boarders project was implemented by ARI Literature Foundation in January – July 2022. The project was implemented in the framework of The EU-funded “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process: Stage 3” (ATNP-3) programme implemented by Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF). Initially planned as an onsite project to take place in 2020, it was later reformatted into an online program due to COVID-19. The closing event of the project took place on the 7th of July at Artbridge cafe-bookstore. The event was attended by project participants, tutors, partner organizations and Eurasia Partnership Foundation representatives.
The project had two components: Write in Armenia (IWC) for Armenian and Turkish young writers and Zabel Women Writers Forum featuring two Turkish women writers.
Component 1: Write in Armenia International Writing Camp
The first international creative writing camp implemented by ARI Literature Foundation dates back to 2017․ The camp was implemented within a Reading Tour of International Writers Project of the University of Iowa supported by US Embassy in Armenia and took place in Armenia for Armenian and Turkish young writers. In 2018 the project was officially named Write in Armenia International Writing Camp (IWC) and an extended edition with participation of Armenian, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian young writers was implemented once again in cooperation with the US Embassy in Armenia. The 2022 edition of Armenian Turkish program was the first online implementation of the camp in the framework of The Power of Cultural Diplomacy project.
In its 2022 online edition the camp was comprised of 12 sessions during which tutors Asli Perker from Turkey and Armen Ohanyan from Armenia, held theoretical and practical classes on writing. Additionally, three invited lecturers offered sessions։ on non-fiction writing by TEDx Armenia founder, business communication and leadership consultant Kristine Sargsyan, օն interdisciplinary relations of cinematography and literature by Artistic Director of Golden Apricot Film Festival Karen Avetisyan and a translation workshop by Director of MFA in Translation at the University of Iowa Aron Aji, Ph.D.
During the project the participants came up with their essays, poems, novellas and in the end as a result of 3-months’ study and practice a final piece was written by each of the participants. These pieces were translated into Armenian, Turkish and English and published in a final chapbook of the project.
Component 2: Zabel Women Writers International Forum
Zabel International Women Writers Forum implemented a special edition in the frames of this project. Two women writers – Asli Perker and Defne Suman, were featured.
Zabel Forum, which is implemented since 2020 by ARI Literature Foundation and Newmag Publishing House was created a platform for women writers from all over the world to tell their stories about the challenges they face on the way towards success and recognition, their stories of failure and disappointment, and inability to resist the urge of writing and finally the challenges of our times. www.zabel.am website feature the program of the forum consisting of speeches, master classes, interviews, panel discussions and other events.
The recent cooperation was with Eurasia Partnership Foundation made it possible to feature Asli Perker and Defne Suman from Turkey. You can find the presentations of these authors, their interviews and panel discussions with participation of Write in Armenia participants and Armenian women writers, as well as outstanding master classes with precious advice for young women writers to use at the Zabel Forum website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.
A film about the The Power of Cultural Diplomacy project was filmed to cover all the memorable moments of the project. See it below.
ABOUT WRITE IN ARMENIA INTERNATIONAL WRITING CAMP
Write in Armenia International Writing Camp creates opportunity for young writers to get together in an extensive creative writing program to learn from each other and about each other. The program of the camp is developed in cooperation with the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa and is based on their model of Between the Lines program. Write in Armenia camp consists of lectures on literature and other creative disciplines, writing sessions, sessions on photo, video and onstage performances, playwriting, slam poetry, readings, group discussions, cultural tours, and a lot of fun.
The alumni of the Write in Armenia (IWC) have already registered their success stories: debut novels, new collaborations and literary awards. Their connection with each other is strong and in addition to their friendly relations cooperative writing projects are also in place. Reunion of Write in Armenia Alumni are organized by ARI Foundation to follow-up with their success.
Visit www.writeinarmenia.org website to see the implemented projects.