In Norse mythology, Ratatosk is a squirrel that carries news and transmits insults between the World Tree Yggdrasil’s top and roots. It carries messages between the worlds and can talk to anyone - as is the case for writers and artists in ICORN residency. Escaping censorship, imprisonment or worse they have been forced to leave their home countries. They ask questions and share knowledge with peoples here and there. They are messengers between worlds, and their translators give more people access to these new worlds.
During 2020, the Nordic collaboration project between ICORN, the three Literature Festivals; Littfest (Umeå), LiteratureXchange (Aarhus), Kapittel (Stavanger) and The Nordic Foundation Biskops Arnö and Danish PEN, has brought together ICORN writers and translators in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. They have met and worked together on translating their texts - from Arabic, Spanish, English, Farsi, Kabyle into Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. The texts have been performed and presented - live, semi -live and digitally - in conjunctions with the festivals during the year. Now their work is collected by Danish PEN in this new anthology, Ratatosk.
The texts in the anthology, both in the original language and in a Scandinavian translations, reflect the diversity of living conditions of the authors. They are about loss of freedom, about loneliness and isolation, about longing, injustice and anger. But even stronger is the sense of defiance and creativity running through the writings, an unrelenting will not to give up; a will to make use of the right and opportunity to express oneself freely, offered by the safe spaces of the cities of refuge.
This anthology contains texts by authors, journalists and artists from China (Xinjiang region), Venezuela, Algeria, Syria and Iran, with ICORN residency in Denmark, Sweden or Norway; Milagros Socorro, Khaled Harara, Abduweli Ayup, Noufel Bouzeboudja, Suzanne Ibrahim, Asieh Amini, Benyamin Farnam, Omid Shams and Ashraf Bagheri. The translators who participated are Kirsten A. Nielsen, Sara Anaya, Rune Moen, Kamal Ahmane, Anna Jansson, Tove Bakke, Øyvind Berg and Fakhroddin Fani
The anthology can be read via this link and will be available in print soon: Ratatosk ICORN anthology