I am happy to report that on the 3rd of April, as part of a networking series of events supported by Nordisk Kulturfond, and with participation of members representing organizations from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Wales, the Red Thread was officially established, as an alliance of publishers / cultural organizers / performers / poets to promote literature and multimedia arts in translation throughout our region, as well as being created in migrant languages, so as to document and support our cultural landscape.
For this first meeting, we counted with Colm Kiernan and Magnus Grehn, representing Kultivera, Litteraturcentrum KVU and Tranås at the Fringe, Sweden. Elena Ilkova represented the Icelandic collective Os Pressan. Daniel Malpica, previous board member of PEN Helsinki, and Emma Leppo, coming from Turku and representing Bokens Hus and Runovikkoo Poetry Festival, both came from Finland. Pil Cappelen of Cappelens Forslag joined us from Norway. Dominic Williams, an associate of both Sweden activities and Red Door in Copenhagen, got funding from the Wales Arts Council to join us as an EU affiliate representing Write4word. And from Denmark, Morten Ranum, Pablo Saborio and I served as hosts representing Red Door, Red Press, Tremella Radio, and a series of other projects we’re each involved in.
You can see our very first chapbook, which celebrates this gathering, on this link. It contains multimedia poetry written in various languages and its translations.
We also held a poetry reading in La Fee Verte, CPH, as a Ukraine-support event where we managed to raise around 1500 EU, which will be distributed between Doctors Without Borders and Ukrainian artists in need of leaving fire areas.
And then on Monday we held a hybrid, multilingual poetry event, hosted both on-site in Wales and at Red Door, as well as with participation of people from different parts of the world tuning in online from the comfort of their homes – something we’re very excited to keep pushing forward, as it allows people with invisible illnesses, neurodivergence and disabilities to be part of the conversation and included in our events wherever these take place.
It was a very busy, very fun and very productive week and I am still feeling the vibrance of so many wonderful conversations, connections and ideas. There is so much knowledge to be exchanged between us, and so much we can give back to our communities by joining efforts.
The Red Thread is a work in progress but ideally will be able to present workshops, talks, readings, performances, publications and other activities in the Nordic countries and beyond in the coming months and years.
I am grateful to each one of you for your support, because it helps Red Door’s activities both online and in the city, and in the shop/gallery space in Møllegade, which served as our base of operations through those busy days. There was also the support of course of Studenterhuset and LaFee as locations, both to whom I am grateful as well.
I invite you to check out the organizations involved (links above), see the wonderful books and events they have, and get in touch if you would like to learn more or get involved in the future.
I am feeling inspired, motivated and challenged, and of course also low on energy, so I plan on using this easter break for writing and moving slowly through the coming days as I process all the information received and all I have learned through this. Viva la Red Thread!
Love and poetry,