ARI Literature Foundation and Newmag Publishing House announced the launch of Zabel International Women Writers Forum. Women writers will be the focus of this international literary platform, where they will present their stories, failures, disappointments, difficulties and challenges they face on the path to becoming writers. It is symbolic that the launch of the Forum and introduction to its agenda were announced on the 4 of February, on the birth day of Zabel Yesayan, famous Istanbul-Armenian writer, essayist, translator and public figure. The Forum will be initiated and conducted first in an online format at www.zabel.am website.
Arevik Ashkharoyan, Founder and Executive Director of ARI Literature Foundation and Gohar Manukyan, Head of Literary Programmes of Newmag Publishing House presented the launch of the Forum, its agenda and the future plans regarding the Zabel offline Festival at the Armenpress press-club.
Eight decades later, Zabel Yesayan returned to Armenian literature, already as the core symbol of Armenian women writers. The birthday of the most famous Istanbul-Armenian writer, public and political figure is marked by the Zabel International Women Writers Forum. Gohar Manukyan, Head of Literary Programmes at Newmag Publishing House, explains why it was decided to name the Forum after Zabel Yesayan: “Zabel has always raised many concerns throughout her activity, has struggled against injustice as a public figure. Zabel means competent, honest and straightforward. She had a special stand and role in literary and public life. And that’s the reason behind the selection of the title of the Forum.”
Initially, there were preparations to the International Women Writers Festival, but because of the pandemic it shifted its format to an online platform. At the Zabel.am international literary platform Armenian and foreign women writers will be presented.
According to Arevik Ashkharoyan, Founder and Executive Director of ARI Literature Foundation, instead of having a three-day Festival now we will have a permanent online platform: “Women writers will be in the spotlight. Armenian women writers will be better presented to the public as well as foreign, renown women writers will be introduced to the Armenian readers”.
Gohar Manukyan notes, that the path to becoming writers, the failures and difficulties, as well as literary and public success and writings will be gathered under one umbrella, in a unique platform: “Zabel.am website is now online. You will be able to get acquainted with an attractive structure of our website, where you will have the opportunity to see the schedule of planned activities and events, lectures and panel discussions. You will have a chance to see and read the texts of all the video materials under the ARTICLE section. With all the writers who are and will be working with us you can get acquainted at WRITERS section”.
February is announced as the Armenian Women Writers’ month at the Zabel.am Forum; March will have a special German women writers edition and in April we will host Russian women writers.
We will also regularly organize readings which will be streamed at Zabel.am. Published, famous or forgotten works, as well as unpublished pieces will be regularly presented at the Forum. Video materials about women writers, including interviews with them will be presented on our bilingual virtual platform. According to Arevik Ashkharoyan, Armenian women writers will have a chance to establish a dialogue with their foreign counterparts: “Armenian women used to talk about that. Male writers have priority in Armenia. Nevertheless, this issue is high on the agenda also in Germany, where women writers are also underrepresented. The same may be said about the publishing field”.
In the nearest future ARI Literature Foundation and Newmag Publishing House will launch initially planned Zabel International Women Writers Festival. But before that, February is announced as the Armenian women writers’ month, March – German women writers՛ month and April – Russian women writers՛ month.