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International Conference “Literature and Immigration” in Warsaw (25/3/2010)

An international conference “Literature and Immigration” took place in Warsaw on the 25th March, under the auspices of the European Commission and EUNIC (EU National Institutes of Culture).
The conference was organized by Goethe Institut, Austrian Cultural Forum, Danish Institute, Romanian Cultural Institute, the Swedish Embassy and the Press Office of the Greek Embassy, all of them members of EUNIC, as well as by the Representation in Poland of the European Commission and the Centre of Modern Art Zamek Ujazdowski, where the conference took place.
Scholars involved in academic research related with the topics of literature and immigration were invited to share their views with writers that have chosen to write in a foreign language.
  

The writer Kallifatides

 Greece was represented by the Albanian writer and journalist, Gazmend Kapllani, who lives and works in Greece and the writer Theodor Kallifatides, who has lived the last 45 years in Sweden, publishing more than 40 books.
Both writers were invited by the Press Office, with the support of the Greek Book Centre

Kapllani spoke about “The strange language of dreams”: ”I think that writing in a language that is not your mother tongue is a privilege and a trap at the same time. It’s a trap because every time that you are not satisfied with what you are writing, you’re tempted to blame your failure on the “foreign” language. In a way, it becomes your scapegoat. 

The writer and journalist Kapllani

On the other hand, it’s a privilege, because the relationship between yourself and that language is a relationship of a never ending curiosity. You never take it for granted. This happens for the sole reason that it was never given to you, you had to “conquer” it. You are in a constant search for yourself and this language. The foreign language will never fully be yours in the same way your mother tongue is. I believe that the relationship one has with one’s mother tongue always contains an element of routine and heaviness. The relationship with the “foreign” language never becomes routine. It gives you a sense of lightness and freedom, a desire to play and conquer. The relationship with your mother tongue seems similar to the maternal affection. The relationship with a foreign language that you acquired resembles a love affair. At least, this is what I can say about my relationship with the Greek language. I feel that I am no longer a stranger to the Greek language. But I am not a native either. Therefore, I do not live inside the Greek language either as a stranger, or as a native. Maybe I live within it as a strange one”. 
Kallifatides, who has published novels, poetry collections, travel essays and plays, has received numerous awards for his works which usually revolve around his experience of Greece and of being Greek in foreign domains and almost all his works have been translated and published in more than twenty languages.
During the conference, he stressed that for him the Greek language is the language of connotations and feelings, and the Swedish language is an intellectual language. He mentioned the problems of writing in your own language and the privileges of writing in a foreign language. He considers himself an immigrant and a writer and not an immigrant writer.

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“Literature and Immigation” Conference in Warsaw (25/3/2010)

Ημερίδα  «Λογοτεχνία και Mετανάστευση»
Πέμπτη, 25 Μαρτίου
12:00 – 14:00
&
15:15 – 19:00
Κέντρο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης Zamek Ujazdowski (οδόςJazdow 2, Βαρσοβία)

Μια από τις πιο συναρπαστικές δοκιμασίες για τους συγγραφείς είναι χωρίς αμφιβολία η εγκατάλειψη της μητρικής τους γλώσσα και η απόφαση δημιουργίας σε μια ξένη γλώσσα.
Η διεθνής ημερίδα «Λογοτεχνία και Μετανάστευση», υπό την αιγίδα του  EUNIC Cluster Βαρσοβίας και της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής, θα εξετάσει το φαινόμενο «Λογοτεχνία και Μετανάστευση» στην Ευρώπη του 20ου αιώνα, σε μια προσπάθεια αναζήτησης της ταυτότητας της σύγχρονης Ευρώπης.
Η ημερίδα αυτή αποτελεί μια ευκαιρία να συναντηθούν επιστήμονες που μελετούν το φαινόμενο της μεταναστευτικής λογοτεχνίας και συγγραφείς που αντιμετώπισαν την πρόκληση να γράψουν στην γλώσσα της θετής πατρίδας τους.
Θα εξηγήσουν τις αιτίες και τις συνέπειες των αποφάσεων τους, θα διαβάσουν  αποσπάσματα των έργων τους στο πρωτότυπο και θα απαντήσουν σε ερωτήσεις των συμμετεχόντων στην ημερίδα.
Έχουν προσκληθεί επιφανείς επιστήμονες (συζήτηση στις 12.00): Gazmend Kapllani (Ελλάδα), AndreasSchumann (Γερμανία), MirinaRuncan (Ρουμανία), SandraVlasta (Αυστρία), StenPultzMoslund (Δανία).
Γνωστοί συγγραφείς έχουν, επίσης, προσκληθεί ( συζήτηση στις 15.15): Artur Becker(Γερμανία), Θοδωρής Καλλιφατίδης (Ελλάδα-Σουηδία), Lam Quang My (Πολωνία), Julya Rabinowich (Αυστρία), Matei Visniec (Ρουμανία).
Την συζήτηση θα συντονίσει ο Jan Fellerer, καθηγητής του Πανεπιστήμιου της Οξφόρδης.
Διοργανωτές:  Αυστριακό Μορφωτικό Ινστιτούτο, Κέντρο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης Zamek Ujazdowski, Μορφωτικό Ινστιτούτο Δανίας, Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή – Αντιπροσωπεία στην Πολωνία, Ινστιτούτο Goethe, Ρουμανικό Πολιτιστικό Ινστιτούτο, Πρεσβεία της Ελλάδας – Γραφείο Τύπου και Επικοινωνίας, και Πρεσβεία της Σουηδίας.    

Konferencja „Literatura i imigracja”
czwartek, 25 marca, godz. 12:00–19:00
CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, ul. Jazdów 2, Warszawa

Jednym z najbardziej skrajnych doświadczeń dla pisarza jest bez wątpienia porzucenie języka ojczystego i podjęcie decyzji o tworzeniu w języku obcym. Międzynarodowa konferencja „Literatura i imigracja”, zorganizowana przez EUNIC Cluster Warszawa i Komisję Europejską – Przedstawicielstwo w Polsce*, pragnie przyjrzeć się zjawisku literatury emigracyjnej w Europie XXI w. i zbadać je z akademickiej i osobistej perspektywy. Chcemy spróbować znaleźć klucz do tożsamości współczesnej Europy.
Konferencja będzie niepowtarzalną okazją do spotkania naukowców badających zjawisko pisarstwa emigracyjnego oraz samych pisarzy, którzy podjęli wyzwanie tworzenia w języku swojej przybranej ojczyzny. Będą oni tłumaczyć powody i wyjaśniać konsekwencje swoich decyzji, a na zakończenie przeczytają fragmenty swoich utworów w oryginale oraz odpowiedzą na pytania uczestników.
Zaprosiliśmy wybitnych naukowców (dyskusja panelowa o godz. 12:00): dr Gazmend Kapllani (Grecja), prof. dr Andreas Schumann (Niemcy), dr Miruna Runcan (Rumunia), dr Sandra Vlasta (Austria), dr Sten Pultz Moslund (Dania).
Naszymi gośćmi będą też znakomici pisarze (dyskusja panelowa o godz. 15:00): Artur Becker (Niemcy), Theodor Kallifatides (Szwecja), dr Lam Quang My (Polska), Julya Rabinowich (Austria), Matei Vişniec (Rumunia). Spotkanie poprowadzi dr Jan Fellerer, profesor Uniwersytetu Oksfordzkiego, ekspert w dziedzinie wielokulturowości i wielojęzyczności w Europie.
Partnerzy: Agencja Dramatu i Teatru ADiT, Instytut Książki, Stowarzyszenie Wspólnota Kulturowa “Borussia”, Wydawnictwo Czarne, Wydawnictwo W.A.B.
* Organizatorzy: Austriackie Forum Kultury w Warszawie, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, Duński Instytut Kultury, Komisja Europejska – Przedstawicielstwo w Polsce, Goethe-Institut Warschau, Rumuński Instytut Kultury w Warszawie, Ambasada Grecji – Biuro Prasowe i Ambasada Szwecji

New impetus for Greek-Turkish relations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A new impetus for Greek-Turkish relations was given yesterday following a letter by Prime Minister George Papandreou addressed to his Turkish counterpart, responding to prior correspondence between the two leaders.

The Greek side proposes the launch of a series of talks on the issue of the continental shelf, within a specific time limit and the option for both sides to resort to the International Court of Justice in The Hague in case of a dead-end.
Papandreou deems the Turkish proposal of establishing a High-level Council of Cooperation important and invites Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay an official visit to Greece, sometime before summer, in order to set a time framework.
Moreover, the Greek Premier highlights the need for de-escalating tension over the Aegean Sea and stresses that military activity in the area must be avoided since it jeopardizes security and fuels tension. Referring to the pressure exercised on bilateral relations due to immigration flows’ movement, Papandreou reiterates the necessity for Turkey to abide by the Greek-Turkish Readmission Protocol (2001).
The premier concludes by expressing Greece’s support for Turkey’s European perspective, provided that the latter honours its obligations towards the Greek minority in Turkey and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Turkey Bilateral Relations & Greek-Turkish Rapprochement
[Photo from Papandreou’s visit to Istanbul, Turkey, October, 2009]

Draft Law on Naturalisation and Voting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou chaired a cabinet meeting yesterday that focused on a bill drafted by the Interior Ministry, which will grant new rights to expatriates and immigrants.

The bill – which has been approved by the cabinet – grants an estimated 250,000 immigrants legally residing in Greece more than five years and expatriates the right to elect and be elected in local government elections. Furthermore, the draft bill allows second generation immigrants to be naturalised.”Granting citizenship to overseas Greeks as well as immigrants is a wager that Greece has no right not to win,” the premier said, noting that conditions of security, safety, and social justice should be created. The transfer of populations, he noted, “has reached dimensions that cannot be controlled and it is natural that this provokes concern.”  The premier noted that he UN’s High Commissioner on Refugees Antonio Gutieres -who is expected in Athens – has approved these measures on immigration.

Prespes Lake Preservation Agreement

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The prime ministers of Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania, on November 27, sent a joint letter to the UN Secretary General, the European Union and the Danish prime minister regarding the environmental protection of the Prespes Lake region shared by all three countries.
After the tripartite informal meeting in a lake-side village on the Greek side, Greek premier George Papandreou told reporters that the three leaders agreed to sign an agreement – in early February 2010 – to enhance the environmental protection of the Prespes Lake region.
They also promised to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in water management and take measures to tackle pollution and soil erosion. 
Papandreou also discussed with his FYROM counterpart, Nikola Gruevski, investment projects, the possibility of abolishing visas for FYROM nationals, as well as the “name issue,” for which the Greek premier said that new impetus should be given to the ongoing talks for its resolution.
With his Albanian counterpart, Sali Berisha, the Greek premier discussed economic relations, and minority and immigration issues. 
UNESCO World Heritage: The area of the Prespes Lakes 
Greek News Agenda: Meeting @ Prespes

French Minister Visits Samos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) During his visit to the Aegean island of Samos, on Friday Sept 18th, French Immigration Minister Eric Besson, accompanied by Greek Caretaker Interior Minister Spyros Flogaitis, visited the Italian vessel of Frontex and the immigrants’ reception centre, pointed out that Greece is confirming its good name regarding hospitality issues.  Besson was in Samos for a briefing on the situation prevailing in this eastern part of Europe, in light of the meeting today, among European Union Interior Ministers on justice and domestic issues, to discuss the increasing illegal entry of foreigners from the Turkish coast.

Immigration: Greece Cannot Be Left Alone

PierreLelouche-Valinakis(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The French Minister of State, responsible for European affairs, Pierre Lellouche was welcomed yesterday by deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis in Athens.   The two ministers had the opportunity to discuss a number of issues of European interest ranging from the Lisbon Treaty and immigration to Balkans and Turkey’s candidacy for the EU.   Referring to immigration in particular, Lellouche acknowledged that his visit to Greece helped him realise the true extent of the problem which Greece is facing and stressed that in view of the 150,000 illegal migrants that have entered the country, Greece cannot be left alone to deal with the problem, whether that help consist in prodding Turkey to cooperate or coming up with a coastal protection scheme.  Greek News Agenda: Diplomacy on Migration- Barrot visits Migrant Centres