Nine Taiwan-based writers will be sent to Germany over the next three years as part of a partnership program between the Ministry of Culture and the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin.
The Cooperation Memorandum on Taiwan-German Literary Exchanges was signed in June 2014 to promote international literary exchanges and provide a window for Taiwanese literary works to be translated and published in Europe. The program includes sending three Taiwanese writers to Germany to join a month-long residency project every year between 2015 and 2017.
Germany is the largest publishing market in Europe and the third largest in the world, with some 6,500 German publications being exported throughout the world on an annual basis. If Taiwanese literary works can be successfully introduced to the German market, it means that Taiwan will gain further exposure in Europe and the rest of the world.
To attract the interest of German readers, the Ministry of Culture has chosen to use the imagery and sound of "Formosa,” the historic Dutch name for the island of Taiwan, to establish the program's theme "HearThat Island.”
Setting out from an exotic tropical backstage, "HearThat Island” focuses on evoking the most desirable appeals of island life to showcase Taiwan's diverse and colorful appearance, as well as its liberal humanist atmosphere shaped by an unique geographical location and a turbulent history.
Spanning from creators of fiction and essays to modern poetry, those to be sent to Germany as resident writers include Chung Wen-yin (鍾文音), He Jing-bin (賀景濱), Hao Yu-hsiang (郝譽翔), Egoyan Zheng (伊格言), Badai (巴代), Lee Chin-wen (李進文), Lan Bo-chou (藍博洲), He Chih-ho (何致和), and Lo Yu-chia (羅毓嘉).
While in Germany, they will make contact with the European publishing industry through professional networking, participating in exhibitions, and speaking at international events. These writers will also help introduce European readers to the free society, urban life, and cultural perspectives of Taiwan through their literary works. After returning to Taiwan, the writers will share foreign stories and perspectives with local Taiwanese readers as well.
The Ministry of Culture will also make the arrangements for the writers to attend the reader-oriented Leipziger Buchmesse (Leipzig Book Fair) to present a vivid and interactive display of Taiwan's literary style and cultural charm through their voices of reading their own works.
Established more than half a century ago, Literarisches Colloquium Berlin is renowned as the hub of European literature and an authoritative organization for literary exchanges in Germany.
The Ministry of Culture looks forward to making the Taiwan-Germany literary cooperation project an exchange platform for continuous development between the two countries.