Rawdna Carita Eira is a Sámi poet and dramatist. She has a particular interest in cultural encounters that have taken place in Sápmi over the centuries and the different ways these encounters have influenced northern people. Sápmi encompasses the northern regions of four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The literary forum will look at how Sámi people cope with these borders.
Hassan Blasim was born in Iraq, but has been living in Finland since 2004. Blasim writes in Arabic, but his books have been translated into more than 20 languages. In 2014 he won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize - the first Arabic title and first short story collection ever to win the award. He was labelled “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive” by The Guardian in 2010. Hassan also has a direct link to Estonia at present as Tartu New Theatre is staging his play #DIGITALHATSGAME.
“Minority and refugee literature is part of the rich literary heritage of the Nordic countries,” said Eha Vain, the initiator of the forum, from the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia. “Reading the works of writers from other cultural spaces helps us to better understand other cultures and people and to develop an understanding of ourselves.” Also attending the forum will be Finnish-Swede writer Mathias Rosenlund, Kurdish poet Chiman Karim and Finnish translator Juha Kulmala and others.
The literary forum will open Tallinn Book Fair. The forum has been organised in association with the Estonian Publishers’ Association, the Estonian Writers’ Union, the National Library of Estonia, Tallinn Central Library, the Estonian Librarians Association, the Finnish Institute in Estonia and the Nordic embassies in Tallinn.