The year 2020 is not what anyone expected and it’s been hard to plan, predict and fulfil any project, idea or vision. This is the case also for Nordic Exchange in Literature and we are now in the process of going online.
NOXLit has been able to co-organize a partly IRL event in Helskinki, the Maailmasta Toiseen Festival, and, in November, we are organising Baltic Humanoids / Itämeren ihmiseläimet, a conversation and reading at the Oodi Library in Helsinki.
Thanks to the curation of José Luis Rico, Mexican poet who is a recent resident in Finland and part of the Sivuvalo/NOXLit team, the Maailmasta Toiseen Festival had a Mexican-Spanish focus with writers from Spain and Mexico participating online. NOXLit project member Petronella Zetterlund, who normally shares her time between Malmö and Mexico City, has been forced by the circumstances of Covid-19 to stay for a indefinite time in Mexico.
On the one hand, NOXLit is limited by the situation in the sense that we are not able to arrange meetings between writers, producers and translators so they can get to know each other in person, which has been the project’s focus up until this year because of the invaluable importance a personal network has for a writer. On the other hand, thanks to the tendency caused by the pandemic to bring literary events online and the personal situation of mentioned project memebers, NOXLit is becoming a worldwide literature project which is projecting the multilingual reality of Nordic literature internationally.
As part of this development, which is to be seen as a natural and organic evolution of the project thanks to the personal and professional networks of the team members, NOXLit is teaming up with Mexican creative writing school NOX Escuela de Escritura Creativa, of which Petronella Zetterlund is co-founder and assistant director. The interchange will be mainly through interviews, talks and readings online with Nordic and Mexican writers and artists. The video interviews will be subtitled in Spanish and Swedish respectively to make them accessible to a wide audience. To showcase the richness and diversity of Nordic Literature, this fall we will publish interviews with Ida Börjel, Roxana Crisólogo and Leif Holmstrand, as well as a talk by Cia Rinne. We will also publish and spread interviews with US-Mexican poet and artist Tanya Huntington and Mexican artist Mónica Nepote, with the aim to establish contacts and collaborations between Nordic and Mexican creators, and to put perspective on the migrant experience and the relationship between creator and his/her surroundings, and to take a broad focus on the concept of “language” and “writing” as art form.