TransStar Europa and Arsenal in Kiev (Ukraine)


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Workshop in Ljubljana (slovenian-german)


During our translation workshops in Ljubljana we took the time to talk about translating chansons by Svetlana Makarovič, contemporary poetry by Katja Perat and Miklavž Komelj, and a chapter from a novel by Goran Vojnović. The chansons and poems were later read during two of the literary evenings.

 by Anja Wutej


Impressions from the TransStar Workshop in Krakow from March 25 to 28


Within the framework of our TransStar workshop in Krakow, we organised a reading by Ziemowit Szczerek at Villa Decius. With Magda Wlostowska as the facilitator, he introduced a very interesting book about the relationship between Poland and Ukraine: Przyjdzie Mordor i nas zje, czyli tajna historia Słowian.  [Mordor will come to eat us, or a secret history of the Slaves). The book deals with the stereotypes Poles have about Ukrainians. In general Szczerek presents a multifaceted view of (Central-East) European identities which very much reflects current developments. He also presented his book Siódemka [Seven], in which he describes a trip from Krakow to Warsaw along highway number seven, leading through the Polish province.

On March 28 the Polish-German and the Ukrainian-German groups offered an interesting program at the Goethe Institute in Krakow, which was based on their translations. In the first part of the program, the Ukrainian group with Constanze Aka, Stefan Heck, Nina Havrylov and Sofia Onufriv conducted a play-reading of works by Myroslav Dotshynez, Yuri Izdryk and Olexandr Ushkalov. The performance was just fantastic. And following this perfomance we realised that the connecting element was the excessive consumption of alcohol.

Afterward Magdalena Breuer, Jakob Walosczyk, Katarzyna Kucharska, Magda Wlostowska and Olaf Kühl rapped texts by young Polish authors, including texts by Dorota Masłowska. The enjoyable performance had only one drawback – the spontaneous dancing afterward which had not been planned.

by Claudia Dathe


Values and Change Future Plans for the Cultural Realm and Civil Society in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia (11 – 13 December 2014)


The political and social changes in Central and Eastern Europe over the past 25 years have demonstrated the dynamism contained in civil protest. Dictatorships and ruling elites were not anymore able to withstand the pressure that emanated from the streets and were consequently forced to either relinquish their power or to reform the system. Even if these movements of protest – the Euromaidan in the Ukraine being the latest example – are able to force immediate political change, long-term social consequences remain unclear. The ambivalence of many protest movements leaves the future undetermined. The question is whether proclaimed values such as solidarity, self-organisation, the fight for a life protected by the rule of law, for opposition against kleptocracy and corruption, for creativity, freedom of opinion and for the arts can provide decisive impulses for a democratic restructuring of institutions and whether they are able to prevail against old institutional forces. The international congress on “Values and Change” will link key players from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia and Georgia with their German counterparts from civil society, politics and culture. In podium discussions and in workshops social developments
will be discussed and action-oriented future plans made.

Akademie der Künste [Academy of Arts], Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

Wissenschaftsforum am Gendarmenmarkt, Markgrafenstraße 37, 10117 Berlin



Presentation by the deputy director of the Collegium Bohemicum


The four-day TransStar-workshop in Ústí nad Labem in September started with a presentation by the deputy director of the Collegium Bohemicum. Milan Rudik gave us a short impression about the work of the organization, which was founded in 2006 and engages in activities concerning the history and culture of the German speaking inhabitants of the Bohemian areas. Currently the Collegium Bohemicum is working on an exhibition about the German culture heritage in the Bohemian areas and aims at presenting this part of European history soon to a broad public.

by Magda Wlostowska


I recognise humor when it passes me


A hotel in Ústì nad Labem. A cosy place on the ninth floor, right in front of the lifts. On the table: half empty beer bottles and a steadily filling ashtray. The Polish-German TransStar-Group is having after-work chats about literature, translations and: humor, which Lukas doesn’t realize when reading texts, as he claims.

Having just said that, the lift passes – and for a brief moment you can see and hear laughing women in it. I recognise humor when it passes me, Lukas goes on with an astonishing timing.

We learn a lot at TransStar, but moments like this turn the meetings into something special.

 by Katharina Kowarczyk, Marlena Breuer


Reading with Radka Denemarková


At 26th of September we came to the City Museum of Usti nad Labem to meet the famous Czech writer Radka Denemarková. She spoke about her books and their themes, about translations of her books but also her owns to German. As well we enjoyed the reading in the original Czech and in the translated German languages from one of her most famous books she was even honoured for: Peníze pro Hitlera. An important point was Denemarková’s translation of Herta Müller to Czech language as well as the biographical roman about Czech theater regisseur Petr Lébl who commited suicide. And what would Mrs. Denemarková like to recommend us – young, beginning translators? It became an universal message: On the first place we should enjoy our life.


Performance-Workshop (Akademie für gesprochenes Wort)


On the second day in Stuttgart we had the chance to participate in an extraordinarily useful workshop in public speaking. Cornelia Prauser and Florian Ahlborn taught us how to communicate with an audience, how to lead a discussion and how to perform literature on a stage. Their interactive exercises helped us to significantly improve our skills in public speaking. Finally, in our Sunday morning lecture we had the chance to put their instructions on stage. The performance of our own translations was a huge success.


Ukrainian-German Workshop


After two days of workshops with all participants, that were present in Stuttgart, Friday was the first day of intensive work in small groups. Our Ukrainian-German group focused on this day on the translations of Stefan and Costanze.

Stefan’s text provided a good opportunity to talk about rhythm in prose: how it is created in the Ukrainian text and which elements the German language offers to achieve the same effects. This time, Claudia, our workshop leader, had also selected German texts beforehand, where we could find answers.

On the basis of Constanze’s translation we discussed how to translate spoken language and dialogs as well as slang.

by Nina Hawrylow


The art of translation in associative formats


We demonstrated the art of translation in associative formats: in video poetics on transcultural places of the Ukrainian lyricist Kateryna Babkina, in the text and translation installation of the novella Salzwasser [Salt Water] by Ulrike Almut Sandig, which was set to music by the author in cooperation with Sebastian Reuter (listen), and in a photo show on places of translation by participants of the EU-funded project TransStar Europe.





Translating cube