It was a pleasure and 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 share with Multilingual writers group of Turku Sivuvalo´s plan of activities for the next year and try to generate creative possibilities to make networking with them but also to read my poetry.
However 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.
* In the first row (left to right) writers Sadik Al-Husseini, Ahmad Ayad, Roxana Crisólogo, Chiman Karim and Ainhoa González
On the second (left to right) Petteri Helin and Hashim Matouq.