The Sofia Nadejde Awards Gala for Literature by Women

the sofia nadejde awards gala for literature by women Notes from a major event dedicated to literature and art by women

Today's edition is about the Sofia Nadejde Awards Gala for Literature by Women, held in Bucharest. The winners of this third edition were Sputnik in the Garden, by Gabriella Eftimie, Sonia Raises Her Hand, by Lavinia Braniste, Fotocrom Paradis, by Deniz Otay, and Marcel's Children, by Ema Stere.  The name of the gala is in dedication to a major figure in Romanian culture, Sofia Nadejde, the first woman in Romania to be allowed to hold her high school graduation in a boys' gymnasium, the first woman to lead a literary magazine, and author of the first feminist novel in the history of Romanian literature.


The Sofia Nadejde Awards Gala for Literature by Women was held as part of the Sofia Nadejde Days event, which started in late August with an evening of short films made by women. Here is poet and journalist Elena Vladareanu, initiator of the gala:
“I was interested right from the start by this intersection of arts, and this year we have a partnership with the Romanian Association of Women in Cinema. As such, the writers nominated for fiction will take part in a series of meetings with the directors selected after the call issued by this association. It is equally important that, starting this year, we have a partnership with, the most important platform in the country dedicated to theater. Starting with the previous edition, grants a special drama award as part of the Sofia Nadejde Awards, and the prize this year went to Alexandra Pazgu, a very interesting playwright who has been living in Vienna for a few years, and who started writing in German. Speaking of this intersection of the arts, I would also like to emphasize the long term partnership with, long term because we have been running a series of debates with them. In addition, is a partner in this gala, they helped financially by offering one of the prizes. I think this intersection is very important, I also hope that we will be able to hold the workshop proposed by artist Liliana Basarab, a workshop centered on the book as an object, which starts off from the nominated books.”


At the gala, Sanda Cordos was awarded the special award 'A Room Just for Them', granted for the effervescence with which, for decades, she has been supporting contemporary Romanian literature with her articles. Gratiela Benga-Tutuianu critic and literary historian, is a member of the jury of the Gala:
“It is, in my opinion, a very good  choice, because nothing bad can be said about Sanda Cordos and her persuasive criticism work. Also, this choice is an answer given to a reality that makes us sad most of the time. Because many times we have seen how critics and literary historians are still referring to the literature and criticism written by women in perpetual minority terms, and in thematic and stylistic stereotypes. And if we apply an honest reading to everything that Sanda Cordos has written, it is an answer to such criticism. Unfortunately, we are part of a literature that we still carve up into categories, male and female, and this boxing seems to me totally inadequate, because literature has to reflect the whole world, humanity means more than limiting oneself to a given formula.”


Poet and translator Alexandra Turcu and visual artist Liliana Basarab have been part of the Sofia Nadejde Awards for Literature by Women since the first edition. We talked to them about the need for such an event, and the reactions it elicited. Here is Alexandra Turcu:
“I realized that I wanted to help literature more than I wanted to write it, especially help literature by women, and for this reason I joined the initiative launched by Elena Vadareanu. I had various reactions, some of them negative after the first edition, and I got discouraged for a moment, but as time went by I realized that these awards are welcome, and they have grown from one edition to the next. Even if there are still unfavorable reactions to this project, I believe it is very important that we continue it. I believe this is precisely the idea of the awards, more than just granting some prizes, they want to dismantle prejudices towards literature written by women, and towards the place of women in the world in general.”


And here is Liliana Basarab:
“I had the feeling that I had very much to learn while working with the Sofia Nadejde Awards team, and that we were building them up together. As you have heard before, this initiative is not limited to giving out some prizes. The Sofia Nadejde Days include a lot of activities that come in recognition of women's creations, the more so that I see the need for such undertaking, and I hope this continues. I believe these awards have started to produce changes in mentality. Which Is why I think they should be continued, and we should find new ways of emphasizing the creations of women, which sometimes are not appreciate, or treated as minor art.”
Publicat: 2020-10-17 13:36:00
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