Who: P24/ Kiraathane Istanbul

Where: Istanbul, Diyarbakır, Oslo and Munich,
online

When: 2021-2022

With:
Wêjegeh Amed
Litteraturhuset Oslo
Literaturhaus München

Literature houses, which tend to serve the specific audiences of the cities where they are located, can do more to foster European-wide connections and reach out into under-served regions, as well as across languages. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, literature houses have faced numerous challenges, while digital events have offered new opportunities for collaboration. Already, literature houses in Oslo and Munich have served as a model for the establishment of Kiraathane in Istanbul, which in turn has gone on to inspire Wêjegeh Amed, the Amed/Diyarbakır Literature House.
This project asks how this process of inspiration can be formalized, made more accessible, and scaled up. Collaboration will take the form of digital and in-person events with speakers from different cities, capacity building, the sharing of knowledge and best practices, a writers-in-residence scheme, translation across languages, co-organized events, and mutual participation in events. The partnership between the literature houses in Istanbul, Diyarbakır, Munich and Oslo is rooted in events, translation and networking. The latter two cities have significant Kurdish and Turkish diaspora populations; the Literature House in Oslo organises the annual Saladin Days, celebrating Middle Eastern, North African and European interdenominational culture.
The project is divided into two parts – events and research on the one hand and capacity-building on the other. Project features include a digital event to showcase each literature house; two writers-in-residence at each literature house (eight in total, each delivering 1-2 events over the course of a week), and the publication of an anthology of eight authors/texts (each translated into 3 languages). Research / capacity-building include a series of regular digital conversations to expand future collaborations, a detailed online report with recommendations for the widespread implementation of a future network, an online database of cultural event-based institutions across Europe, and a partnership of literature houses to implement those recommendations in a projected second year of the project.