DRIN project page 
Who: Goethe Institute Finland

Where: Finland, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Great Britain

When: 2021

Finnish Reading Centre
Norsk Barnebokinstituttet
Deutsche Akademie für Kinder- und Jugendliteratur
Kinderboekenmuseum Niederlande
et al.

30 November 2021

DRIN seminar at Literaturhaus Berlin & online
Equal participation is a key question facing Europe’s increasingly diverse societies. The DRIN project addresses the need to empower and enable everyone to participate in our societies. The project focuses on the medium of children’s books, which shape our view of the world and of ourselves for years to come. It is important for children to recognize themselves in stories, illustrations and narratives, and to learn how diverse people and their lives are. However, children’s literature in Germany and (Northern) European countries today does not reflect this plural reality. 
The project brings together international players in the field – authors, illustrators, librarians and publishers. Promoting knowledge exchange, empowerment, networking, capacity-building, awareness-raising and securing outcomes are the main objectives of the project. The key to knowledge exchange is the expertise of underrepresented voices, who can fill knowledge gaps and address grievances related to the diversity of the children’s books that are produced. Networking is essential in this context, as the various agents of diversity and participation are only sporadically in contact in their own countries and, on a European level, hardly at all. Such a network can help to empower and promote capacity-building by enabling people to exchange and train each other and to seek new allies, across borders and professions. Another important goal is to raise awareness among decisionmakers in publishing houses and libraries. To secure the intended outcomes, a guide will be developed which will identify needs, list criteria and frame visions for a more pluralistic children’s literature. The guide will fuel knowledge transfer even after the end of the project. The sites of the project are both analogue, such as festivals, book fairs and conference venues, and digital, in order to make the project easily accessible to many people across Europe. 
Warda Ahmed from Finland, illustrator EL BOUM and author Chantal-Fleur Sandjon from Germany use their expertise and experience to shape the development of the project. You can find all contributions to the project on the DRIN website.
DRIN_El Boum