Fair-Play and Collaboration: Armenia

Intellectual Property, Working Conditions and Collaborative Actions for Writers and Literary Translators in Armenia 14-15 January 2013
Date: 14-15 January 2013
Venue: American University of Armenia, Manoogian Hall, Paramaz Avedisian Building

The workshop aimed at
providing practical knowledge on the various aspects of the rights of writers and translators, ranging from ones related to legal and contractual issues (copyrights, remuneration) to social ones (freedom of speech, working conditions, visibility), and providing a platform for discussion and exchange within Armenian literary and translators' community, and with colleagues from the European Union as well as to give examples of international practices. Ultimately, the workshop aimed at empowering and motivating writers and translators for collective actions for improved relations with publishers, state and the wider audiences.

Armenian writers and literary translators, organizers of literary events, associations, clubs and festivals

Speakers, discussants and moderators:

  • Daniel Hahn (UK) − Director of British Center for Literary Translations, author, translator
  • Sonya Vardanyan (Armenia) Head of Copyright and Related Rights Department of the Intellectual Property Agency of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia;
  • Shushan Mkhitaryan (Armenia) Chief Specialist of Copyright and Related Rights Department of the Intellectual Property Agency of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia;
  • Tom Samuelian (Armenia) Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, AUA;
  • Vahan Khachatryan (Armenia) director of National Publishers Association;
  • Armine Abrahamyan (Armenia) script writer, novelist;
  • Viken Berberian (Armenia) novelist;
  • Samvel Mkrtchyan (Armenia) literary translator;
  • Aram Mehrabyan (Armenia) publisher, PrintInfo Press;
  • Siranush Dvoyan (Armenia) editor of Yev;
  • Mkrtich Matevosyan (Armenia) Aktual Arvest;
  • Nairi Hakhverdi (Armenia) literary translator;
  • Arevik Ashkharoyan (Armenia) First Armenian Literary Agency;
  • Shushan Avagyan (Armenia) professor at AUA and literary translator;
  • Yana Genova (Bulgaria) director of Next Page Foundation and general manager of Book Platform project.
The concept of "fair-play" and the possibilities for increased collaboration along the book chain in Armenia were the two central topics of the workshop that took place on 14-15 Jan 2013 in Yerevan. The workshop was kindly hosted by the American University of Armenia and its Translation Certificate Program. 

The workshop was opened by Dr. Dennis Leavens, the Provost of the American Univ. of Armenia and Melissa Brown, Lecturer, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, AUA, and went on for two intensive days with a series of presentations, panel debates, discussions and group work. Participants included contemporary Armenian writers, poets, translators and literary critics as well as enthusiastic graduate students in literature and translation. Day 1 was mostly focused on on the various aspects of the rights of writers and translators: in international perspective (Daniel Hahn, Viken Berberian), the current situation in Armenia (Armine Abrahamyan, Samvel Mkrtchyan) and on theoretical and practical aspects of copyrights and remuneration (Sonya Vardanyan, Shushan Mkhitaryan). The presentations and discussions on Day 2 were centered on the value and the role of associations of creators and translators as well as on several inspiring current initiatives. The idea of creating a literary translators' association or a kind of collective, launched by the Ulysses translator into Armenian Samvel Mkrtchyan, will hopefully be getting a momentum and supporters over the next months. Later on the same day, the issue of promoting Armenian literature abroad raised heated discussions that showed that there is a need for a broader and longer debate both within the literary community and with the policy-makers.

The Book Platform is thankful to our new partners of AUA and to Shushan Avagyan of the Translation Certificate Program for the excellent conditions of the workshop. And the quality of the interpreting during the workshop was exceptional.


Photos Credit: Liliya Zaydulina/ American University of Armenia


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