Gutun Zuria Bilbao: Basque Country – Japan comic exchange

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

  • 01
    Apr 2023

The Bilbao International Literature Festival, Gutun Zuria, will return to Bilbao’s Azkuna Centre this year from March 28 to April 1. Under the title ´Escribir/Editar/Leer´ (Write/Publish/Read), the 2023 edition is based on the premise of the simultaneity and abundance that characterise today´s society, focusing on the process of writing, publishing and reading.

Comic strips and cultural exchange between Euskadi and Japan will be among the headliners at the festival with ‘Manga da ma(h)uka: EH-Japonia komikitan’, a special session headed by the Etxepare Basque Institute. The session will be held on April 1, at 12:00 noon in the Kubo Baltza room of the Azkuna Centre in Bilbao.

Taking part in the session are Hiromi Yoshida, translator into Japanese of the graphic novel ‘Black is Beltza’; Koro Muro, from Harriet publishers; and Josevisky (Joseba Larratxe), comic book artist. Ainara Azpiazu – Axpi will moderate the round table discussion.

In this session, the participants will reflect on how comics have strengthened the relationship between Basque and Japanese cultures and literature in recent years. This initiative is part of the Euskadi – Japan Cultural Exchange programme to take place throughout the year by way of different artistic and cultural events including the Gutun Zuria Bilbao festival.

The translation of a literary work is a complex task that demands both linguistic and cultural expertise, as it goes beyond a mere search for linguistic equivalents between two languages. The Etxepare Basque Institute will present a session that focuses on translating comics, offering insight into the key skills necessary for the translation of comics.

Literary translation is a crucial pillar of the Etxepare Basque Institute´s efforts to promote the Basque language and culture internationally. By prioritizing literary translation, the Institute aims to increase the visibility and appreciation of Basque literature beyond the borders of Euskadi.

Admission to the session is free, and can be booked on the Azkuna Centre´s website.

Euskadi – Japón

The events at the Gutun Zuria festival are part of the 2023 cultural exchange programme between the Basque Country and Japan. The Euskadi – Japan 2023 initiative aims to strengthen ties with Japan, a priority in the Basque Country´s internationalisation strategy. In recent years, the establishment of channels of collaboration through visits and meetings with stakeholders and political leaders from both countries has paved the way for a pioneering initiative that aims to promote bilateral projects in various domains such as institutions, economy, business, culture, gastronomy, and tourism in both Japan and the Basque Country.

In the realm of culture, the Etxepare Basque Institute and the Japan Foundation will work together to facilitate the creation of exchange projects between the two countries.

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