Norabideak: Amets Arzallus

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

Norabideak: Amets Arzallus
  • 17
    May 2023
    May 2023
    Leipzig / Berlin

As part of the Etxepare Basque Institute’s lectureship and language assistantship programme, the Basque language and culture lecturers at Freie Universität Berlin and Leipzig University have organised two events at Literaturhaus Berlin and Leipzig University aimed at promoting Basque literature: ‘‘Norabideak: puentes entre lenguas’ (loosely translated as ‘Directions: bridges between languages’)

The event is part of the Norabideak (directions) project, which is based on literary translations from Basque into German and from German into Basque. The project is intended to build bridges between cultures and languages.

The focal point of the evening will be centered around sharing experiences of flight and stories of exile. The purpose of the event is to convey the experiences of migrants, exiles, and refugees through various voices. Guest speaker Amets Arzallus, bertsolari, journalist and author, will present his book ‘Miñan’ (‘Little Brother’).

 ‘Miñan’ (2019, Susa) is the story of the life of Ibrahima Balde, narrated by Balde himself and written by Amets Arzallus. In it Balde recounts his journey from Guinea to the Basque Country in search of his missing brother. The book has been translated into ten languages, including German, and won the Silver Euskadi Literature Prize in 2020.

On 17 May, Amets Arzallus and Raul Zelik will share their reflections on the process of translating the book at the University of Leipzig. The talk will start at 15:00 and can also be followed online.

The next event will take place on the evening of 19 May at Berlin’s Literaturhaus.

5:30pm – Presentation: Narrative initiatives to be discussed at the event.

- ‘Mitelmeer monologue’: Stories told through monologues that recount the experiences of people who risked crossing the Mediterranean.

- ‘In Our Own Words’, a book that documents the lives and stories of women refugees in Germany

- Documentary: ‘Nine Days on the Roof’ (Denise Garcia Bergt, 2014). The film tells the story of the occupation of the Gerhart Hauptmann school by a group of refugee women.

- Novel ´Miñan´.

6:00pm – Round table: Amets Arzallus (‘Miñan’), Michael Ruf (‘Mitelmeer monologue’), Adam Bahar and Jennifer Kamau.

7:30pm – Multilingual reading of ´Miñan´ in Basque, German and English.

The ´Norabideak´ project

The ´Norabideak´ project was created in 2022 by the lecturers Amaia Orbe (Leipzig University) and Maddalen Subijana (Freie Universität) from the Etxepare Euskal Institutua network of lectureships at foreign universities. The project aims to focus on translations between Basque and German literature, with the purpose of building bridges between the two languages and cultures. Last year, the project began with the translation work of Idoia Santamaría´s of W.G. Sebald´s novel ´Austerlitz´ into Basque. This year, the initiative will take the opposite direction; the latest literary work in Basque translated into German will be presented: ´Miñan´, by Amets Arzallus and Ibrahima Balde.


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