Transeuropéennes' project since the start of the 1990s, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the siege of Sarajevo and the first Gulf War, has been informed by a critique of identity-based exclusions and the prospects opened up by the idea of "translating, between cultures".
This project comprises an innovative approach to transposing the concept of translation into the domains of politics and culture, and to unifying, on the one hand, a critical review, Transeuropéennes, of which twenty issues were published between 1993 and 2004, five of them bilingual (French-English), and, on the other hand, the action programmes that were carried out in the Balkans, starting in 1994, and in the Euro-Mediterranean region, starting in 1995. Theory and action are not mutually exclusive, but in constant interaction.
Between 1993 and 2004, Transeuropéennes published work by almost three hundred authors from across Europe, the Arab world, Russia, India, Africa and the United States. During this period it accumulated concrete experience of translation between numerous languages, using translators of recognised talent. The original authors were thinkers, researchers in the human sciences, artists, writers, translators, politicians and representatives of associations. The review was a unique forum for critical thinking "in Europe and beyond", and, between 1994 and 2005, for concrete action in the Balkans and the Mediterranean region.
2002 saw the publication of issue No. 22, "Translating, Between Cultures", which proved influential. And it was in May of the same year that militant women from ex-Yugoslavia and Albania came together for two weeks in a "caravan" that gave concrete expression of their engagement in the cause of peace. This was also the year of the "Convergences Palestine/Israel" collective, which met at La Villette theatre in Paris.
In the period between 2004 and 2007, with the changing geopolitical context (a deterioration of the situation in the Middle East, the impact of 9/11 on policies and mentalities, and the war in Iraq), Transeuropéennes took time out for reflection and renewal. A research team was set up at the Collège International de Philosophie to work on issues relating to translation. And in 2005 the Maison de l'Europe, Paris, created a forum for new initiatives.
Transeuropéennes gradually directed its priorities onto the Mediterranean region in a perspective that has always included the Balkans. The "Translating in the Mediterranean" project was inaugurated in late 2005, developed in 2006 and 2007, and then launched in the conference on culture that took place in Marseille in November 2008, in the framework of the French presidency of the European Union. The mapping of translation, launched in 2010 in partnership with the Anna Lindh foundation is based upon a solid network of partners created by Transeuropéennes in order to bring this structuring initiative to a successful conclusion.
At the same time, Transeuropéennes was preparing its renewal as an international review of critical thinking. And in the autumn of 2009 an online multimedia version was launched, in four languages: English, Arabic, French and Turkish. The French Ministry of Culture and Communication as well as the Centre national du livre are providing support for these developments.