Collective residencies / HUMANITIES / Olot


From Monday, 12 September 2016 to Monday, 10 October 2016

Literary translator


Satu Ekman (born 1966) studied Spanish and Portuguese Philology and General Literature and received her Licentiate of Philosophy degree from the University of Helsinki in 1999. She studied also in Venezuela. From the beginning of her studies to the present her dream was to work as a literary translator. She has translated 40 literary works from Spanish and Portuguese to Finnish from authors like Albert Sánchez Piñol, Javier Cercas, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Adolfo Bioy Casares and Álvaro Mutis. Satu Ekman educated a whole generation of translators. In addition to her own translations, she worked as a translation teacher in the Department of Romanic Languages, University of Helsinki, from which Satu Ekman is an invited delegate at the Finnish Ibero-American Foundation from 2010.


During my stay in the Faber Residency, I will concentrate on my first translation work from Catalan to Finnish, El violí d’Auschwitz by Maria Àngels Anglada. The novel will be published in Finland in 2017. I would like to gather information of Anglada in a trip to Figueres and contacting the experts of the Càtedra M. Àngels Anglada. My ambition is also to improve my Catalan skills and finally leave Olot speaking the language.

The big wheel

The big wheel—or if you prefer—the Ferris wheel, the observation wheel, the giant wheel, brings us up, lets us reach for the sky, and opens our eyes to new horizons. Together with our companions sharing the same gondola—our friends, our family—we are engrossed in trying to see beyond our daily routines.

In Finland, a cabin with a sauna has just been installed in the big wheel at the port of Helsinki. The sauna is a place where we enter as we are. We respect other bathers and if they feel like talking, a sincere conversation springs forth—at times one of great secrets. That was how I felt when we got together during the first dinner at the Faber Residency. We were five people with very different origins and experiences and yet, after starting a conversation, we immediately realised that we had a lot in common. The big wheel, the observation wheel, the Ferris wheel, rose into the air. The big wheel turned round and the sixth person got on, in order to balance out the gondola—now we were three plus three.

The London Eye was built by hundreds of workers from different countries. Here, we’re from six countries: Finland, Israel, Catalonia, El Salvador, Great Britain and Kabylia. And all of us work doing what we love the most.
Theatre, cinema, television, fiction, journalism, essays, poetry, literary translation. Histories of generations, of families, of peoples. Experiences of oceans and continents, of trips and cultures, of religions and beliefs. In a very short time, a tight-knit group was formed. Diversity is nourishing. We talk about boundaries and barriers in real life and to our creativity, as well as the freedom of expression at a personal level and at a global level.

The group that we have formed is a beginning; not just for Faber but also for ourselves. We are on the same wavelength and several projects that we want to do together have already emerged. The first group will not get off the big wheel. We will remain up in the sky even after our stay. And our stay will continue on at a distance.

Notícies, articles i activitats

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