Two world wars and 45 years of Cold War have severed many ties which had united the Baltic region for centuries; today the region only plays a marginal role in public perception. Despite – or perhaps because of – current tensions, the Baltic Sea and its neighbouring states form a cultural space which deserves consideration with regard to their mutual ties. On the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Hanseatic city of Rostock, this project wished to reintroduce the public to the Baltic region. In readings, an international conference, an anthology and a multilingual online library, the project has produced, presented and discussed an intercultural Baltic literary canon comprised of 2,000 years of texts. The project “Reading the Baltic” has brought writers, translators, literature teachers and audience members together to discuss the significance of the region and its cohesion in an increasingly complex Europe. Does a mutual regional identity exist beyond historical and current conflict and national boundaries? How are literature, identity and nationalism related? The project has produced a conference transcript, titled “Die Ostsee” (The Baltic Sea), consisting of an anthology of representative texts from all nine countries around the Baltic Sea and in thirteen languages which served as the basis of discussion and an attempt at self-reflexion. Other texts, translations and lectures have been added to a virtual library called “balticsealibrary” which preserves the literary heritage of the Baltic region and provides open access to the texts in various languages. Joint projects and local meetings have served to strengthen and expand the network of international partners with interests and activities related to the Baltic region. In 2018, public literary events took place in Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Germany. In addition to public readings, the project organized performances and events at schools.
Artistic director: Klaus-Jürgen Liedtke
Artists: Annette Lindegaard (DK), Polina Lisovskaja (RU), Hans Peter Neureuter, Michael North, Tor Eystein Øverås (NO), Jan Philipp Reemtsma, Bernd Roling, Göran Rosenberg (SE), Ingrid Velbaum Staub (EE), Clas Zilliacus (FI)
Reading festival and local conference: Swedish Writers’ Association, Stockholm: 1 Sep. – 30 Nov. 2018;
LiteraturHaus Copenhagen: 1 Oct. – 25 Nov. 2018;
Estonian Writers’ Association, Tallinn: 1 Oct. – 30 Nov. 2018