25-27 04.2013

The Gdańsk Meetings of Literary Translators “Found in Translation”


The Gdańsk Meetings of Literary Translators “Found in Translation” is an intervention project which is supposed to establish a platform for fascinating discussions with translators, writers and readers. Our aim is to promote culture-forming role of literary translators, but also to expand common knowledge concerning the art of translation. In the contemporary globalized reality, translating often goes beyond tight constrictions of translating texts and becomes an important device in building knowledge about the world, other societies and cultures. This is well recapitulated by Ryszard Kapuściński, who saw “the 21th century man” in a translator: Translating a text, we open up a new world for the Other; we translate, and translating, we make it closer, we let others be in it, and make it a part of our own experience. How, then, the translator’s effort broadens our horizons, deepens our cognition and knowledge, and enlivens our sensitivity.

“Found in Translation” is a series of meetings with translators, writers, literary critics and publishers. The list of our guests includes Adam Zagajewski, Majgull Axelsson, Marek Bieńczyk, Joanna Bator, Szczepan Twardoch, Jerzy Jarniewicz, Magdalena Heydel, Adam Pomorski, Grażyna Plebanek, Jacek Dehnel, Justyna Sobolewska.
All panel discussions, talks and lectures are open for public: we want the meetings not only to let us approach literature from a different perspective, but also to become a starting point for discussions about the world and the dynamics of its changes. On the one hand, translation is an intimate confrontation with a text; on the other, it is a way of building relations between people and cultures.

We are planning a series of workshops. EneDueRabe and Zakamarki Publishers will prepare activities for children. Translation workshops for students of secondary schools from Gdańsk will be conducted by Jacek Dehnel, Wojciech Charchalis, Julia Fiedorczuk and Justyna Czechowska. Magdalena Heydel, the translator of Virginia Woolf and the author of the latest Polish translation of “The Heart of Darkness” will run another translation workshop.

The translation project runs parallel to the photography exhibition by Cato Lein, the Swedish photographer. “Spojrzenia” (“Glances”) is an exhibition of portraits of Polish and foreign writers and translators made by a Swedish photographer Cato Lein. It will consist of photos of the finest world writers from Lein’s archive (e.g. Günter Grass, Paul Auster, Ryszard Kapuściński) and a series of photos of translators prepared especially for this exhibition (e.g. of Magdalena Heydel, Jerzy Jarniewicz, Małgorzata Łukasiewicz, Michał Kłobukowski, Sława Lisiecka, Marek Bieńczyk, Joanna Bator).

The meetings of translators called “Found in Translation” organized by City Culture Institute will take place every second year alternating with the  “The European Poet of Freedom” festival. As its scope each edition takes a particular linguistic area – this year, it will be Scandinavian languages.


organizers: City Culture Institute, City Hall of Gdańsk
partners: University of Gdańsk, The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdańsk, The Gdańsk History Museum, Voivodeship and City Public Library in Gdańsk, Literary Translators' Association, Gdańsk City Gallery, empik
media patrons: Polish Radio Program 3, Tygodnik Powszechny, PAPERmint, Gdańsk Radio, trójmiasto.pl
Honorary Patrons: Swedish Embassy in Poland, The Danish Cultural Institute

The Project is financed by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.