7.11.2014 Visit to Helsinge Gymnasium.

13.11.2014 Kirjailijavierailu Karhulan kirjastoon.

22.11.2014 Visit to Multilingual writers group “Vieraalla maalla” at Kirjan talo, Turku.

Our first visit was to Helsinge Gymnasium. The Sivuvalo team Malpica&Crisólogo gave a lecture based on visual material to two groups of students, of 15 and 18 years old, on why a project such as Sivuvalo is important in today´s Finland. 

Who nowadays could be a Finnish writer? Why we call us Finnish writers even if we write in other language than Finnish or Swedish? “When you’ll become famous… are you going to introduce yourself as a Mexican writer or as a Finnish one.” what a 16 -year- old student asked Daniel Malpica.

Students were especially enthusiastic with Sivuvalo cartonero book and the cartonero movement in Latin America. Daniel Malpica promised to go back to make a workshop with them.

During the Sivuvalo presentations, the students have heard, probably for the first time, names of authors such as Hasam Blassin, Tanya Tynjälä and Yousif Abu Al Fawz and come to know that these authors live and write professionally in Finland. It is high time to accept that we, writing in various languages, form part of the Finnish literature.

Multilingual writers group - Turku
In the first row (left to right) writers Sadik Al-Husseini, Ahmed Zaidan, Roxana Crisólogo, Chiman Karim and Ainhoa González On the second (left to right) Petteri Helin and Hashim Matouq.

It was an enriching experience to participate in the meeting of the Multilingual writers group “Vieraalla maalla” at Kirjan talo, Turku. Thank you Marja Mäenpää (Monikielisen kirjoittajaryhmän kokoonkutsuja) for the invitation.

The objective of the visit was to present to the Multilingual writers group of Turku Sivuvalo´s project, its plan of activities and objectives and try to generate creative possibilities to make networking. It was a good ocsasion to share with them my poetry.

The main discussion veered towards how complicated is to be a full-time writer and to be published in Finland when we don’t write in Finnish neither in Swedish and there are only a few translations of our literary work. We had different points of views on who is considered a professional writer according Finnish standards. Most of us come from countries where there is not a writers grant system. I found this the appropriate time to share the experience of Hard Money apurahaklinikat, initiative promoted by Catalysti Transcultural Artists in Finland. Hard Money´s objective was to provide detailed advice, support and guidance for professional artists and writers in applying for grants

– Each workshop will include 3 clinics. I hope such workshops can be also take place in Turku.

The discussion was many times interrupted by comments and its translations in Arab, Spanish, Finnish and English. After my poetry reading Kurdish poet Chiman Karim tried a translation in Arab and Kurdish of Abajo sobre el cielo, title of my first poetry book. On the train, coming back to Helsinki with new words and new understandings and insights, I was definitely sure that is not an utopia to fight to live in a multilingual society.

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