Warschau, 26 March 2010 Press release

Conference on „Literature and Immigration“ in Warsaw

Julya Rabinowich talks about her experience as a „literary migrant“

Warsaw, 26 March 2010 - One of the most important border experiences for a writer is certainly the abandonment of one’s mother tongue and the decision to write in a foreign language. The international conference on „Literature and Immigration“, jointly organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum in Warsaw and EUNIC Warsaw closely examined the phenomenon of immigration literature in 20th-century Europe, both from an academic and a personal perspective. The conference was an attempt to find the key to the identity of contemporary Europe.

This encounter between scientists from Austria, Germany, Greece, Romania, and Denmark, who do research on this phenomenon, and authors who took up this challenge of writing in the language of their “stephome” generated lively and controversial debates, which were moderated by Jan Fellerer (Oxford University). Despite the enormous differences in their career and orientation, the participating authors Julya Rabinowich (Austria), Artur Becker (Germany), Theodor Kallifatides (Sweden), Dr. Lam Quang My (Poland), and Matei Visniec (France) shared the common desire not to be always labelled as „literary migrants“, but to be measured solely on the value of their work. They discussed their reasons for writing in a foreign language, and explained the consequences of their decision.

The one-day event was topped off with a reading by each participating author.

For more information, contact:
Austrian Cultural Forum in Warsaw
austriackie forum kultury
ul. Prozna 8
00-107 Warszawa
Tel: +48 22 526 88 00
Fax: +48 22 620 10 51
E-Mail: warschau-kf(at)bmeia.gv.at