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 wishes to reintroduce the public to the Baltic region. In readings, an international conference, an anthology and a multilingual online library, the project will produce, present and discuss an intercultural Baltic literary canon comprised of 2,000 years of texts. The project “Reading the Baltic” will bring 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 will produce 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 will serve as the basis of discussion and an attempt at self-reflexion. Other texts, translations and lectures will be added to a virtual library called “balticsealibrary” which will preserve the literary heritage of the Baltic region and provide open access to the texts in various languages. Joint projects and local meetings will serve to strengthen and expand the network of international partners with interests and activities related to the Baltic region. In 2018, public literary events will take place in Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Germany. In addition to public readings, the project organisers are planning 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