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Runokohtauksia project awarded: Multicultural Act chosen for the tenth time

Based on nominations by the residents of Turku, the City of Turku chose Aydin Yilmaz as the New Citizen of Turku for 2015 and the Runokohtauksia project as the year´s Multicultural Act. Lifetime achievement award was given for Pertti Widen.

Eight languages and twenty artists

The Runokohtauksia working group, which was chosen as the year´s Multicultural Act, involves Turku-based poets who have translated foreign-language poems by other Turku-based poets into Finnish despite not being proficient in the foreign language in question. The working method is the first of its kind: the poems were translated during meetings of the translation working groups by way of discussion and asking questions. Some working groups also included a cultural interpreter. The Runokohtauksia anthology will be published in summer 2015.

- Meetings of this group of twenty people and eight languages have also involved various other topics of discussion besides poetry. We have also eaten, taken photographs, agreed on schedules and read completed translations together, says Marja Mäenpää, the project´s coordinator.

The poets involved in the project are Galina Inkeroinen and Andrei Karpin (Russian), Chiman Karim and Nzar Kwestani (Kurdish), Hashim Matouq and Sadik Al-Husseini (Arabic), Ainhoa González Llano (Spanish), Shahla Ezadi (Persian), Diana Mistera (Italian) and Abdi Abshir Dhoore (Somali). Their poems were translated into Finnish by the poets Esa Hirvonen, Juha Kulmala, Timo Harju, Terhi Hannula, Tommi Parkko and Daniil Kozlov. Marja Liisa Valtanen, Lora Karim, Ali Rabiee, Irinja Karpina and Alas Ali served as cultural interpreters.

- The Runokohtauksia project unites poets from different cultures in a unique and inventive way, and the anthology will make the poems available to Finnish readers. The project is a fine choice for the year´s Multicultural Act, says Randell.

Awards presented on 25 March

Awards were presented at a celebration for new citizens of Finland on 25 March 2015.

More information on Turku City website

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