On Friday 13 October, Hyestart led a successful trip to the Frankfurt book fair to promote contemporary Armenian literature through to the Vartanouche Krikorian translation grant. This year the book selected by Hyestart and its partner, the ARI Literature Foundation, is Aram Pachyan’s Goodbye, Bird. It is an intellectual novel reflecting the social and political challenges of modern Armenia through the lives of young men during their obligatory military service. The idea of a closed community is at the base of the novel and reflects the realities of any closed society governed by the rules of its dictators. The novel was recently published in English by Glagoslav publications (London). Arabic and Bulgarian rights are sold. Thanks to our partner Arevik, founder of the ARI Literature Foundation, we had several meetings with French publishers in Frankfurt. Hopefully they will buy the rights and we will soon be able to announce the publication of “Au revoir, Piaf” in French. We have already selected a great translator into French and are impatient to tell the word a piece of good news. The ARI Literature Foundation and the Armenian stand as a whole can be visited at 5.0 C 124. Go, it is worth meeting Arevik, a true professional.
This one-day trip also provided the opportunity to meet Carles Torner, the Executive Director of PEN International. At the initiative of the ARI Literature Foundation, the Armenian PEN centre is being recreated. We reported about this a few days ago. Around Armen of Armenia, it is a wave of young new writers who have joined this new centre and we can be really optimistic that this group will be actively promoting the PEN values and vision in Armenia. Hyestart fully supports this endeavour and will continue to do so.
Finally a brief meeting with publisher Ragip Zarakolu was also on the agenda. The co-founder of the Belge publishing house has always been at the forefront of defending freedom of expression in Turkey, tackling with force and courage all the taboo subjects of Turkish society. He took part in a fascinating panel discussion entitled Bücher gegen die Zensur (Books against censorship) held in Forum Boersenverein. Other speakers included writer Aslı Erdoğan, who was recently released from prison but is still on trial, and Mehmet Atak. While Ragip Zarakolu stated that Turkey had become a "Republic of fear", Aslı Erdoğan stressed that Turkish opposition was not united. Ragip Zarakolu curated the exhibit entitled Story of banned books in Turkey 92 years. Go visit it in hall 5.0 E 143. It is really worth it!
Ragip is a freedom of expression hero. And we are proud to announce that he accepted to join the honorary committee of Hyestart.