One of the aims of the LEILA project is to structure a network of actors and organisations. This is why we created essential spaces and opportunities for professionals to meet – three international professional meetings and workshops – enhancing the construction of a Euro-Arab network of experts.
Paris meeting – July 2021
The first network meeting was held on July 8 and 9, 2021 in Paris just before the literary festival Maghreb-Orient des Livres. The plan initially was to bring together Arab and European experts to brainstorm about the LEILA project. Because of pandemic restrictions, experts based in the Arab-speaking region, could not attend, and the programme was modified. The meeting instead brought together European experts who discussed Arabic literature in translation and the actors involved in the promotion of contemporary literary creation in Arabic in Europe, with the main objective being to collectively work on how best to orient the LEILA website in order to make contemporary Arabic literature discoverable for European book professionals.
Tunis meeting – September 2022
The second LEILA professional meeting was held at the French Institute in Tunis on September 19 and 20, and brought together 34 participants (five online), including 16 publishers as well as the project partners and experts in Arabic literature. The participants came from 14 different countries (seven from Europe, seven from Arabic-speaking countries). The sessions and workshops focused on the Arabic-speaking literary production over the last ten years and its translation in Europe, on the acquisition and translation policies of European publishers, on translation rights and co-publishing. A beta version of the website was presented, and the feedback was taken into account for the next stage of the site’s development. A presentation of the LEILA project was given at the international forum of social sciences Insaniyyat, during round tables on the subject of knowledge and translation.
Berlin meeting – April 2023
The third LEILA professional meeting was held in Berlin on April 27, 28 and 29, 2023. It was designed to discuss all the issues related to the circulation of Arabic-language works and authors in Europe, and to foster the emergence of collaborative practices and partnership initiatives. Bringing together LEILA’s partners, cultural institutions, and 12 individuals from eight European countries working in the field of transmitting/publicising Arabic culture and literature towards the general public in Europe, this meeting was an opportunity to learn more about local contexts of circulation (cultural, social, political, historical), about the specificity of local audiences, the roles of public and private sectors, and the role of media. Together, we collectively imagined better practices in order to enhance collaboration at the European level between guest organisations and individuals.