LEILA is a reverse acronym for “Arabic Literature in European Languages,” and the LEILA project has been founded to promote the translation and circulation of the new Arabic-speaking literary scene in Europe:

As organizers write, “At a time when Arab artistic creativity is booming in Europe, the new, effervescent, diverse and avant-garde Arabic-speaking literary scene is still only (too) weakly echoed there.”

The LEILA project, set to unfold over three years, will have three central projects: 1) to put together a network of actors and organizations in the field of Euro-Arab literature and publishing; 2) to promote the “discoverability” of the Arabic-speaking literary scene in Europe and among European languages; and 3) to strengthen the capacities and visibility of the new generation of Arabic-European-language translators.

One of the first parts of the project will launch in June 2021 in Arles, a forum about translation from Arabic into European languages co-hosted by LEILA partner ATLAS. Ten translators will be invited to join a one-week residency at the International College of Literary Translators (CITL) at the Espace Van Gogh, “to map the existing editorial landscapes for texts translated from Arabic to European languages, and to share best practices about the discoverability of new texts, their promotion and translation.”

This residency is open to literary translators who translate from Arabic into any official language of the European Union. Eligible candidates must have already translated at least two published works of fiction.

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2021; more about how to apply on the ATLAS website.

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