Elfen/Dewi Glyn Jones

Hay Festival 2009

At the 2009 Guardian Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales Arts International and the British Council celebrated the success of the Writers’ Chain initiative at the Literature in Wales Stand.

Writers’ Chain was set up by Wales Arts International and the British Council to develop translation projects between the UK and India.
Eight writers, four from the UK and four from India, took part in a unique translation workshop, which was held in the northern province of Rajasthan from the 14-20 of January 2009. They then presented their work in a showcase event at the Jaipur Literary Festival on 21 January 2009.

The artists included UK writers Meg Bateman (Scotland), Mererid Hopwood (Wales), Matthew Hollis (England) and Gearóid Mac Lochlainn (Northern Ireland). Indian writers included Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, Sampurna Chattarji, Udaya Narayana Singh and Sivasankari.

At least eight languages were used during the six-day workshop including Welsh, Irish, Gaelic, English, Khasi, Bengali, Tamil and Maithili. Alexandra Büchler, Director of the Literature Across Frontiers network based at Aberystwyth University, led the workshop, which was held at the Neemrana Fort Palace Hotel in Rajasthan and supported by Siyahi, a literary agency specialising in Indian literature.

Writers’ Chain includes outreach work developed with Academi, setting up multimedia workshops for young people in both India and Wales, led by Mererid Hopwood and Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih.

In April 2009, forty Indian writers representing the diversity of the country's languages came to the UK for the London Book Fair. India was the market focus country at the book fair and British Council organised the cultural programme for the event. The British Council is also planning a three-year programme of activity in India on themes including translation, reader development and the commercial potential of literature.

During the 2009 Guardian Hay Festival, Welsh bard Mererid Hopwood talked about her experiences in India and showcased some of the short films that were made and exchanged by children in Rajasthan and Wales.

The event was on the 25th of May 2009 at the Literature in Wales Stand was introduced by Kevin Higgins, Director of British Council Wales, opened by Harry McIver, Acting Director of Wales Arts International and presented by Francesca Rhydderch, Project Manager for Writers’ Chain.

Harry McIver, Co-Director, Wales Arts International, said:

"Writers’ Chain aims to develop collaborative and sustainable projects in the literature sector in the UK and India. WAI is delighted with the way project has explored notions of identity and social engagement through language and how it has addressed issues of multi-lingualism.
"The role of Wales Literature Exchange as project managers was also crucial, as they brought their art form skills and sector expertise to bear in designing the activity, working closely with Literature Across Frontiers to deliver the workshops in India.

"Wales Arts International will now be proposing future developments for Writers’ Chain for the forthcoming year and discussing these with all the partners."

Writers’ Chain is run by Wales Arts International and British Council, with support from Welsh Government.

Exchange of Words 2011

Anna Lewis

Wales - China 2017

Thomas Martin - Stratum 50 - Open Books

India Wales

Hay Festival Kerala

Patagonia 150

Patagonia - Marc Rees