Newsletter TransStar Europa 2/2014

7. 3. 2014

Ukraine, Leipzig Book Fair and New Publications
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TransStar March 2014

Reading for Ukraine

After the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, did not sign the European Union Association Agreement in November 2013 the political situation in Ukraine changed very quickly: after demonstrations on the Maidan in Kiev which lasted for weeks and a number of eviction attempts by the security forces, violence escalated mid-February and Yanukovych was toppled. On the first weekend in March the Crimean Peninsula was occupied by Russian army units in violation of the Law of Nations.

The occupation of Crimea is an attack on the sovereignty of Ukraine and the team of the TransStar project vehemently opposes this action.

We would like to express our solidarity with the democracy movement in Ukraine and with our Ukrainian project partners as well as our Ukrainian project participants. For this reason we will publish a poem of a Ukrainian writer and its German translation on the facebook site of our project, every day beginning March 10.

Please visit our facebook site.


Majdan_TitelseiteWithin days the pamphlet Majdan! Ukraine, Europa, edited by Claudia Dathe and Andreas Rostek, will be released by edition.fototapeta publishing house in Berlin. The book collects voices of Ukrainian intellectuals, writers and historians speaking on the current developments in Ukraine and their historical and social backgrounds. There are also contributions by West European politicians, sociologists and historians analysing the situation from their respective perspectives. Project participants of the Ukrainian-German group Nina Hawrylow, Constanze Aka, Sofia Onufriv and Stefan Heck were involved in the compilation and translation of texts.

March Events

Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 7 p.m.

Book Presentation and Discussion: Majdan! Ukraine, Europa

Writer Yuri Andrukhovych succinctly states: „When we stand up for Europe, we also stand up for our sovereignty. For human rights and for freedom. These are not merely fine words, but the naked truth…“ Eye witnesses, writers, poets and intellectuals from Ukraine have brought their texts together to produce a „historical document of the moment“ – a book which was compiled in a very short time which portrays personal experiences and describes the conditions of life in the country also taking history into consideration. The discussion with the three writers of the edited collection takes a look at the current situation after the occupation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia and accounts for the history of the relationship with Russia.

The reading and discussion will be conducted with Andriy Lyubka (author, Warsaw/Ushkhorod), Yevgenia Belorusets (author and photo artist, Kiev/Berlin), Andriy Portnov (historian, Berlin/Dnipropetrovsk) and Kyryl Savin (Heinrich Böll Foundation, Kiev)
Moderation: Walter Kaufmann (Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin)

Location: Heinrich Böll Foundation, Schumannstr. 8, 10117 Berlin

Events at the Leipzig Book Fair, 13 – 16 March 2014

On three consecutive days participants of the EU-funded project TransStar Europe read texts by contemporary authors telling their story of life in present-day Europe. It is a story about identity and homelessness, social dislocation, alienation, new beginnings, of borders and the way they shift or are violated.

Thursday, 13 March, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

TransStar reading at the Croatian Stand (I) – Surrelistic Stuff

Magda Wlostowska and Katharina Kowarczyk read excerpts from:

Return of the Old Komodo Dragon by Michael Ajvaz (Czech Republic) translated by Katka Ringesová

The Two-Gigabyte Stick by Yuriy Izdryk (Ukraine) translated by Constanze Aka

Bestiarium by Tomasz Różycki (Poland) translated by Marlena Breuer

Ballad(yna)s and Romances by Ignacy Karpowicz (Poland) translated by Katharina Kowarczyk

Location: Stand of the Croatian Ministry of Culture, Hall 4, D 402

Friday, 14 March, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Book Presentation and Discussion: Majdan! Ukraine, Europa

The Ukrainian authors Serhiy Zhadan (Kharkiv) and Oksana Forostyna (Kiev) will introduce the edited volume Majdan! Ukraine, Europa and will discuss the current  situation in Ukraine.

Reading and discussion with Serhiy Zhadan (author from Kharkiv, Ukraine) and Oxana Forostyna (author and sociologist from Kiev, Ukraine).

Moderation: Claudia Dathe, EU-funded project TransStar Europe (Tübingen)

Location: Stand of the Ukrainian Publishers and the Lviv Book Forum, Hall 4, E 506

Friday, 14 March, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

TransStar Reading at the Croatian Stand (II) – European History as Family History

Sofia Onufriv, Maja Konstantinović and Martina Lisa read excerpts from:

Zinandali by Myroslav Dokhynez (Ukraine) translated by Nina Hawrylow

Who gives a fuck about a thousand dinars now by Boris Dežulović (Croatia) translated by Maja Konstantinović

Germans: Geography of Loss (Czech Republic) by Jakuba Katalpa translated by Martina Lisa

Location: Stand of the Croatian Ministry of Culture, Hall 4, D 402

Saturday, 15 March, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

TransStar readings at the Croatian Stand (III) – European History as a History of Memory

Franziska Mazi and Maja Konstantinović read excerpts from:

The Teapot and the Chinese Emperor by Dzwinka Matiyash (Ukraine) translated by Constanze Aka

Gulasz z turula by Krzysztof Varga (Poland) translated by Melanie Foik

Roses by Stanja Hrastelj (Slovenia) translated by Tjaša Šket

Location: Stand of the Croatian Ministry of Culture, Hall 4, D 402

Sunday, 16 March, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Recounting European History – Literary Perspectives from Five Countries

How do authors recount their history in present day Europe? A history that is influenced by societal, social and economic transitions, by changing ideologies and indescribable individual fates. Their texts portray people in the midst of violence and indifference, alienation and constriction, confrontation and despair, generating a mosaic of European biographies in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Martina Lisa, Christian Nastal and Schamma Schahadat from the EU-funded project TransStar Europe will introduce Daniel Odija, read text excerpts and will provide insight into transcultural entanglements of the old continent.

Reading and discussion with Daniel Odija (Poland), Christian Nastal, Martina Lisa and Schamma Schahadat (TransStar Europe)

Moderation: Claudia Dathe, TransStar Europe (Tübingen)

Location: Forum OstSüdOst, Hall 4, E 505

Sunday, 15 March, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Book Presentation and Discussion: Majdan! Ukraine, Europe

Together with Rebekka Harms, a politician from the German Green Party, the Ukrainian writers Natalka Sniadanko and Serhiy Zhadan will present the book Majdan! Ukraine, Europa and will discuss the current political situation in the country.

Reading and discussion with Serhiy Zhadan (Kharkiv), Natalka Sniadanko (Lviv), Rebekka Harms (Brussels)

Moderation: Sofia Onufriv, TransStar Europe (Berlin)

Location: Forum OstSüdOst, Halle 4, E 505


Translator of the Month

In March of 2014 we will present a portrait of the German translator Andreas Tretner on the webpage of TransStar, who translates into German from the Czech, Russian and Bulgarian languages. You can find the article under the heading Translator of the Month at

TransStar participants at the Leipzig Book Fair

Martina Lisa, was born and raised in the Czech Republic, studied History and German as a foreign language at the University of Leipzig. As a result of her numerous travels and extended stays working as a lector for German as a Foreign Language in primarily Eastern countries (Azerbaijan, Russia and Tajikistan) and as a result of her socialisation in the Czech Republic and Germany, being in motion and mediating between different cultures is a solid cornerstone in her life. Since graduating from university she regularly translates primarily scholastic texts in the humanities into German. By way of translating literature she would like to connect two worlds: the world of her roots and the one where she lives right now. Her latest literary discoveries are: Jakuba Katalpa’s „Němci“, Jiří Hájíčeks „Rybí krev“ Hana Androníkovás „Zvuk slunečních hodin“ and the poems by Ondřej Buddeus.

Magda Włostowska studied Political Science, East and South East European Studies as well as Polish Studies at the University of Leipzig from 2004 to 2012. During her studies she gained experience participating in a variety of internships and other activities, i.a. at the Heinrich Böll Foudation in Warsaw and in the research group „Pathways of Law“ at the Institute of Slavic Studies of the University of Leipzig. After that she worked at the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (GWZO) also at the University of Leipzig. Since 2010 she is a certified translator for the Polish language. Within the framework of the TransStar project she translates from the novel “Dzidzia” by Sylvia Khutnik.

Sofia Onufriv was born in Lviv and studied German Studies and Publishing in Lviv. For some years now she is a freelance interpreter and translator, cultural manager and mediator as well as travel guide ( She translated Yury Andrukhovych’s My Europe into German and Thomas Brussig into Ukrainian. She is a member of the translator association Translit ( and lives in Berlin and Lviv.

Maja Konstantinović was born in Vukovar and in 1993 her family resettled in Bruchköbel, Hesse. She stuied Slavic Studies and Political Science at the University of Tübingen and currently she is completing her post-graduate studies in Literary and Culture Theory. In 2008 she was a participant of „Translators in Residence“, a project of the Slavic Studies Department of the University of Tübingen. In 2009 she gained her first experiences in translation by translating the supertitles of the play „Seven Days in Zagreb“ by Tena Štivičić which was performed within the framework of the theatre project called „Orient Express“ at the Stuttgart State Theatre.

Katharina Kowarczyk was born near Katowice/Poland and studied Polish Studies and Philosophy at the University of Hamburg. In 2012 her MA thesis „Analyses on Polish-German Literary Translation: Balladyny i romanse by Ignacy Karpowicz“ was awarded the Scientific Award of the Polish Ambassador in Germany. She translates from the Polish language and lives in Hamburg since 1989.

ransStar Translators of the Volume „Majdan! Ukraine, Europe“

Constanze Aka currently studies Eastern European Studies (main subjects: culture and history) at the Free University of Berlin. Previously she received a degree from the University of Passau in European Studies and worked in the world of cultural project management. Constanze spent one year studying and volunteering at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. She travels often, preferably in Brazil, Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

Stefan Heck was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1987 and moved to Germany in 1990. He studied Slavic Philology and Business Administration in Tübingen and Warsaw. During a summer school stay in 2009 he fell deeply in love with Ukrainian. After his master’s degree in 2012 he started working as an assistant in the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Tübingen and began a PhD on the aspect in Slavic languages in 2013.

Nina Hawrylow Nina was born in Salzburg in 1988 and lives in Vienna. From 2008 until 2013 she studied Ukrainian and German Studies at the University of Vienna and the Taras Shevchenko University Kiev. In 2012 she conducted a socio-linguistic study in Kiev from which originated her final thesis. Since March 2013 she studies German as a Foreign and Second Language in Vienna.

Sofia Onufriv see participants of the Leipzig Book Fair.

You can find further information on the project, updated regularly, under: or on our facebook site.

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