Connecting up, as ever, theory and action, culture and politics, Transeuropéennes initiated at the end of 2005 a Euromed structuring project entitled Translating in the Mediterranean Area, which was launched in 2008 in Marseille.
This initiative highlights the diversity of languages and of forms of cultural expression, as well as it places translation at the very heart of intercultural dialogue and intercultural practices in the Mediterranean region, as it leads to a restoration of languages to their proper place, in all their richness and complexity, their diversity and depth of field. But besides this, translation can put into perspective entrenched differences and "untranslatables" that must not be glossed over. A broad view of translation should make it possible to stimulate new, and more profound, forms of interaction in artistic, intellectual and social activity.
The project gathers a network of institutional and non-governmental partners, as well as experts. The cooperative platform Translating in the Mediterranean runs studies and surveys on translation in the region, in the field of literature, human and social sciences, theater, youth literature, as well as innovative dissemination, mediation and training projects. This is why in 2010, the Anna Lindh Foundation and Transeuropéennes are launching and coordinating a vast mapping of translation in the Mediterranean Area.
Based upon this network, Translating in the Mediterrean aims at creating translation dynamics which will be stamped by reciprocity and equal conditions of exchange. We have to translate more, to translate better, to translate other knowledge. And we need to translate not just into Arabic, but also from Arabic into different European languages – and not only from North to South, but also from South to North, East to West and West to East, South to South...
Over the next ten years, the Mediterranean region needs to become a fabric of translation.
The "Translations, Writings, Libraries" Workshop took place with the frame of the "Etats généraux culturels méditerranéens" organised in Marseille organised within the frame of the French Presidency of the European Union, on the 4th and 5th of Novembre 2008. We propose here after the conclusions as produced by the working group of this workshop, which is the launching event of the "Translating in the Mediterrean" project.