Friday March 1st
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch at the Centre
1) Opening of the GA and presentation
2) Approval of the Agenda
3) Election of the chairperson and secretary of the GA
4) Activity report, presented by Ms Janina Orlov, the Chairperson of BWC
5) BCWT, presented by Ms Lena Pasternak, the Director of BCWT
6) The membership application of Hamburger Autorenvereinigung
7) Final report on the virtual Baltic Sea Library 2010-2012, presented by Mr K-J Liedtke
Discharge of the project leader
Closing of the project account
8) Homepage Renewal. Newsletter. Facebook page.
Saturday March 2nd
9) Budget. Treasurer’s report, presented by Ms. Mudite Treimane, the Treasurer of BWC
10) Auditors’ report
11) Reports from member organizations
12) Reports continue
13) Baltic Meeting 2013. Vilna & Minsk. Discussion on the next BM.
14) Workshops or other new projects
15) Copyright – burning topics
16) Membership fee for 2014
17) Election of the Board members. The members of the Board retiring by rotation are the Chairperson Janina Orlov (willing to continue) and the Board members Tor Tveite and Karl-Martin Sinijärv (Tor Tveite cannot continue).
18) Election of the auditors.
19) Other issues
20) The date of the next GA
21) Closing the GA
Minutes of the BWC GA in 2013, March 1-2
Janina Orlov, Swedish Writers’ Union; Peter Curman, Swedish Writers’ Union; Karl Martin Sinijärv, Estonian Writers’ Union; Piret Viires, Estonian Writers´ Union; Tor Tveite, Norwegian Association of Literary Translators; Mudite Treimane, Latvian Writers’ Union; Yulya Tsimafeyeva, Union of Belarusian Writers; Liutauras Degesys, Lithuanian Writers’ Union; Klaus-Jürgen Liedtke, German Writers’ Union; Hannu Niklander, Union of Finnish Writers; Tittamari Marttinen, Union of Finnish Writers; Suvi Oinonen, Union of Finnish Writers; Heidi von Wright, Society of Swedish writers in Finland; Brita Osafo, Swedish Writers´ Union; Stefan Ingvarsson, Swedish Writers´ Union; Mari Wallgren, Finnish Association of Non-Fiction Writers; Wojciech Boros, Association of Polish Writers; Lars Magnus Lahne, xxx; Lena Pasternak, BCWT
Friday March 1st
1) The Chairperson of the Council Ms Orlov opened the meeting at 13:03. She welcomed all to the GA and compared the participants with a family celebrating a feast together. The participants presented themselves.
2) Following tiny changes in the items, the Agenda was approved by the General Assembly. Point 15 about copyright issues was skipped because it was a proposition of the Georgian writers and they were not present. Point 17 is specified: there will also be elections for two new board members and two deputy members for the Baltic Centre. The agenda was then approved.
3) Ms. Orlov was elected chairperson of the Assembly and Ms. Marttinen was elected secretary. Mr Ingvarsson and Mr Tveite were elected tellers for the elections.
4) The Chairperson presented her Activity report:
ACTIVITY REPORT OF BWC 2012
As expected the year was a typical – ”in between Baltic Meetings” – one. We summarized the experiences of co-operation, in this case, with the Turku based Littera Baltica and decided to be on our own next time. That would be in 2014 when the BM will take place in Vilnius and in Minsk (or alternatively in Visby).
Since the activity of the council is constituted of the work done by member organizations, I will keep my report short and mainly refer to the country reports provided by our distinguished members.
A few words should nevertheless be uttered about representation and participation in various events, as well as of public statements and visibility of the council. It might be considered as arbitrary conduct, but whenever I travel within my profession, I also represent the BWC. To begin with, a visit was paid to Minsk and Mogilev in Belarus on February 16-19.2, where I had the opportunity of meeting members of both the Writers union and the Belarusian PEN-organization. During our own GA, 30-31.3, we were invited to participate in the one day book fair, at the Almedalen Public Library, Visby. As a result three of our members, W.Boros, K-J. Liedtke and K-M. Sinijärv recited their own poems and translations of poems. The performance was very popular among the audience. Prior to the readings, I made myself a small presentation of the BWC and Lena Pasternak told about the activities within the Centre. On May 4-5th, I attended the GA of the TSWTC in Rhodes, and informed about our activities and plans. Back in Sweden, it turned out that the education of literary translators at the Södertörn University in Flemingsberg, outside Stockholm, was going to be put down. The translators’ seminar that was founded in the late nineties, the only one of its kind in Sweden, proved very successful. It would in fact be of interest to investigate how it has affected literary life in Sweden. Despite heavy protests, among them an appeal from the Swedish Academy, the seminar was closed. The BWC also protested; together with Anna Forslund from the Swedish Writers’ Union, Svante Weyler, distinguished publisher, and prof. em. Lars Kleberg, founding member of the seminar, we attended a meeting with representatives from the faculty. Later on, in the middle of June, at the international translators’ seminar in Helsinki, a petition in favor of the seminar was composed and also signed by the BWC. Sadly enough all efforts turned out to be in vain.
The second half of the year passed in observing the situation in Belarus and planning for the next Baltic Meeting. The BWC was also represented at the book fairs in Gothenburg, 27-30.9, and Helsinki 25-28.10.
Chair of the BWC
5) BWCT Presentation. Ms Lena Pasternak presented the BCWT and plans for the celebration festivities for the 20 years of Baltic Centre. As she pointed out, the Centre is a popular and lively international meeting place: it is full all the time which proves it is needed and demanded. However, the cultural politics in Gotland have recently changed. There is now a feeling that the survival of the Centre is a miracle. There is a permanent lack of funding for the renovation, which would be needed. The Centre has more pressure to secure the walls and still to be able to go on with the many-sided activities and co-operation with its networks locally and internationally. The main aim is always to offer working peace for writers – and also make it possible for them to meet each other. Good relations regionally as well as nationally and internationally are really needed in this situation. The Centre is organizing events, planning new activities and coordinating scholarships and workshops. There are translation workshop projects with Belarusians. There will be a poetry festival in August, in co-operation with the poetry festival of Stockholm. Dramatists and playwrights from Georgia and Lithuania will be working at the Centre. The Centre will also host of a larger translation workshop for those working with German and Swedish. It is an active member in the network of writers´ houses and residences in the European level. Also Mr Curman spoke about international relations and the significance of the co-operation.
The celebration program for 30 May – 2 June festivities is to be planned with the theme Open house so that everyone can pop in the house and meet writers who are working there. At the Centre there will always be the possibility to talk and to feast. More than 3000 books have been written in the residence and that is the main contribution from the Centre to the world. Mr Degesys thanked Lena for her work. He has been impressed by the board meeting of the Centre and Lena´s ability to direct all the activities. Mr Liedtke mentioned that there are interesting archives about the history of the Centre and that it is a shame that they are partly lost. Mr Liedtke also raised a question about culture – is the Baltic Sea area really open to stress the meaning and significance of cultural life?
6) Hamburger Autorenvereinigung membership application was considered and approved. Statues make it possible for this association to be accepted, because according to the statues BWC is open to all writers association. Mr Liedtke still raised a question about the this topic as HA is a local organization. These kinds of local writers´ organizations have not applied earlier, but for example St Petersbourg is a member already. Mr Klaus Jürgen Liedtke was against the membership of Hamburger Autorenvereiningung. There was a need to vote. Results: 14 yes – 2 no. The secretary will write a welcome letter to the new member association.
7) The Virtual Baltic Sea library project was presented by Mr Liedtke. He presented the contents and the practical workig methods from the point of view of himself as a project leader. As this was his final report, the co-operation with BWC is now closed and a new host will be based in Berlin 2013. Special attention in this website is dedicated to those who has traveled and written about their journeys of the Baltic Sea area. At the moment there are about 280 texts in 13 languages, and there has been 11 600 users during two years. The closing of account on the name of BWC was confirmed .
8) There was a lively discussion about the homepage renewal. There will be a working group to plan the renewal process. Ms Marttinen, Ms Astratoviene and Ms Tsimafeyeva were selected to this group. The basic structure of the site was considered good, but the visual appearance of the page should be more attractive and inspiring. The Facebook page is a good channel to share information to members. The newsletter was also discussed. There are permanent problems to send newsletters regularly as there is a lack of actual material coming from the member associations. If the members are active to inform about their news, the letters will be sent by mail.
Ms Orlov ended the session at 17:14.
Saturday March 2nd
Ms Orlov opened the second day session of the GA at 10:15.
9) The Treasurer Ms Treimane presented the budget. According to her economics the situation is good. Baltic Meeting is not mentioned in this year´s budget. There will be a change of figures to next year´s budget. Then BWC hopes to have bigger budget thanks to project funding for BM.
When it comes to the membership fee, every association is not able to pay the fees before the beginning of March. Ms Oinonen pointed out that these fees are in general paid too late. The problem is that associations get their funding later in the spring. However, membership fee income is now increased thanks to more regular payments of members. If member associations have problems with payment, everybody can feel free to contact Ms Treimane and discuss about the situation.
Ms Oinonen suggested that the treasurer should write down the result of recent years in the same paper with the actual finances so that it would be easier to compare these. There was a discussion about the budget proposal. The 2011 result was also discussed. There were some bookkeeping problems. Baltic Meeting is an external project but the question was raised why it is not mentioned in the budget. There should be a project line in the budget. Mr Degesys asked about the problems caused by the fact that the accounts are marked in crowns and fees in euros. New version of the budget proposal was introduced by Ms Treimane after a little break and it was approved.
11) Country reports from member organizations were started by Lithuania. First Lithuanian writers and then Lithuanian translators presented their country reports and then there was the report of Belarusian writers. After a little coffee pause the Union of Finnish Writers gave its country report. It was followed by the Society of Swedish Writers in Finland and the Finnish Association of Non-fiction writers. The Estonian Writers´ Union went on with their report. Session was ended for the lunch pause at 13.
12) The session was resumed after lunch break at 14. The reports continued with Norwegian Association of Literary Translators, German Writers´ Union, (Verband Deutscher Schriftsteller), Latvian Writers´ Union and Swedish Writers´ Union. All the written reports from member-organizations are available at our homepage https://www.balticwriterscouncil.info/
10) Mr Lahne was not able to participate in the GA morning session, but when he arrived, both Auditors Mr Lahne and Ms Oinonen gave their report. They found the books in excellent order and the Board was granted freedom of responsibility.
13) The Baltic Meeting 2013 was discussed: Title proposals were given and the candidate raising most interest was The Double Core of Europe. Main interest was for the frame plan with both cities Vilnius and Minsk. There was a discussion of dates and possibilities to co-operate with local writers and Pen Center and with the annual Feast of Poetry which is held on 27 May in Minsk. There was more discussion about dates and the beginning of September was generally seen as a good possibility to organize the event (for ex. 5 – 9 september).
Language combinations and translations for BM were discussed. In general the combination Lithuanian language / Belarusian / English was considered as worth working with. Ms Orlov raised the question about making new translations of the texts of participants for the readings of this event. Working group was formed. Ms Tsimafeyeva, Ms Astrotoviene, Mr Degesys and Ms Orlov were selected to the working group. Mr Liedtke will give his opinion and input too. This group will come up with a more detailed suggestion for Baltic Meeting. Also more exact title proposition will be developed after consideration.
Mr Liedtke and Ms Orlov said that Hamburg might be a possible place and interesting option for 2015 Baltic Meeting.
14) Workshops and other new projects. There was a preliminary discussion on workshops and new projects. The point was skipped after all because there was no actual need for input.
15) Copyright issues (Skipped)
16) Membership fee for 2014: proposition of keeping is as 150 euro was discussed and accepted. So the fee is 150 euro.
17) The members of the Board of BWC retiring by rotation were the Chairperson Janina Orlov (willing to continue) and the Board members Tor Tveite and Karl-Martin Sinijärv (Tor Tveite cannot continue). Ms Orlov was willing to continue and she was re-elected unanimously as Chairperson. Mr Sinijarv was elected to continue as a board member and Mr Degesys was elected to the board as a new member. There was no need for voting.
Mr Niklander and Mr Tveite were retired by rotation for the board of the Baltic Centre (BCWT) as representatives of BWC. There were five candidates for the board of the Centre: Ms Treimane, Mr Niklander, Ms von Wright, Mr Degesys and Ms Tsimafeyeva. As the result of the elections the members for the board are Ms Tsimafeyeva and Ms von Wright. Deputy members are Mr Degesys and Mr Niklander. The tellers for the elections were Mr Ingvarsson and Mr Tveite but by the general decision the numbers of votes were not announced.
18) Election of the auditors. There was no need for voting. Mr Lahne & Ms Jensen were elected auditors. Deputies are Ms Pasternak and Ms Oinonen.
19) Other issues
Logo. The working group for website renewal will be in charge of planning and choosing the logo proposal and when this project is advanced the logo will be sended to member organizations for their comments.
Georgia has not paid the membership fees after it have been chosen to become a BWC member. The last reminder will now go to Georgia and without the payment of membership fee they will be excelled from BWC. This point is agreed unanimously in the GA.
The case Kaliningrad. They have not paid neither. They will be contacted and asked for the payment.
20) The date of the next GA is settled on 28-29 March 2014.
21) Closing the GA. The chairperson Ms Orlov closed the session and the GA and thanked all the participants at 17.21.
Janina Orlov, The chairperson Tittamari Marttinen, The secretary