The Mishkenot Sha’ananim Translators’ Residency in Jerusalem was founded in 2016 with the aim of promoting Israeli literature, spreading its message around the world, and making it accessible to an international audience. This program, the only one of its kind in Israel, emphasizes contemporary literature and seeks to promote young writers as well as prominent authors who are well known to readers of Hebrew but have not yet achieved the recognition they deserve in the arena of world literature. Each year a work of Israeli literature is chosen, and its translators from all over the world gather in Jerusalem together with the author in an effort to produce translations that will benefit both from the encounter itself and from the enrichment sessions that address the language and content of the work.
All the Rivers, by Dorit Rabinyan, was the first book to be the focus of the residency, followed by Judas, by Amos Oz (2017), and The Liar and the City, by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (2018). So far, translators who work in English, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, Polish, Arabic, Russian, Turkish, and Albanian have taken part in the program.
In 2019, the iconic playwright Hanoch Levin stands at the center of the residency program, marking the twentieth anniversary of his death. Levin’s plays have been staged in a dozen languages around the world, and will be staged in additional languages in the future. Naturally, this year’s residency, which takes place from July 7 to 12, includes more translators than usual, and they are working on different plays from different genres. The role of the late playwright will be taken on by people who knew him and worked alongside him, including authors, literary scholars, playwrights, directors, historians, musicians, and family members who will offer their experience and knowledge to the translators, enabling them to do their work in the best possible way.
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