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On the Margins: Underrepresented Voices, Genres and Experiences in European Literatures



- transnational mobility

- audience development

- capacity building: digital shift

- capacity buidling: new business models

- capacity building: training and education

Project description

“On the Margins: Underrepresented Voices, Genres and Experiences in European Literatures” is a three-year project which encompasses publishing, promotion and distribution of 30 high-quality literary works written in large part in less represented genres (graphic novel, poetry, children’s literature and short stories).

The project is divided into three parts, each covering one year of the project:
Year 1 – Immigrant voices or the voices of ‘others’
Year 2 – Women’s voices
Year 3 – Minority report (the voices of sexual, age and religious minorities and people with disabilities).

This unique book series was created to reflect cultural diversity of Europe and simultaneously promote Croatian literature because it also includes translations of award-winning Croatian novels to “major” European languages (English and German). Furthermore, through this project we want to create a platform for different voices and stories of marginalized groups and minorities which would allow them to reach a wider readership.

We believe that our project and its motto “recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me” (C. Fuentes) can contribute to raising awareness of problems which immigrants and other minority social groups face and make them more visible and more acceptable in Croatian society.

Project objective

The project's goal is to promote less represented literary genres, to push the limits when selecting the topics as well as follow the publishing trends in European countries which give more space to marginalized voices and topics. Furthermore, we want to contribute to the translation and publication of Croatian literary works in major European languages and their distribution and promotion throughout Europe.

Gained experience

During the first year of the project, V.B.Z. published 10 titles with emphasis on the voices of ‘others’, particularly voices of immigrants. The Croatian novel “Wild Woman” has successfully “crossed the border” and was published in the United Kingdom in cooperation with Istros Books. A series of literary sensitization panels was held in the library in Dugave, a neighbourhood in Zagreb with the greatest number of immigrants, some of which participated in the panels and told their stories. Vrisak literary fair was another important promotional platform. Guest authors included the author of French graphic novel “Alpha” Barroux and the British-Jamaican poet Kei Miller. V.B.Z. cooperated with literary activists from neglected parts of Croatia which are placed “on the margins” of cultural events – a poetry translation workshop was organized in Lošinj and a book promotion was organized in Karlovac in Croatia’s first bookshop specializing in children’s titles. An innovative method of promotion was implemented as part of the “Poetry in Motion” project – poems written by 10 Croatian and foreign poets were displayed on posters in 150 buses and trams in Zagreb.