Writers Boycott National Foundation of Georgian Literature

Georgian writers, translators, and publishers have boycotted the newly established organization “National Foundation of Georgian Literature” and rejected the decision of the government and the Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport of Georgia whereby LEPL “Georgian National Book Center” and LEPL "Writers' House" were merged and LEPL “National Foundation of Georgian Literature” was established.

The Order on the Establishment of the National Foundation of Georgian Literature was released on June 18 and came into force on June 20. The “Georgian National Book Center” and the “Writers’ House” were thereafter abolished.

Writers, translators, publishers and former employees of the abolished organizations are demanding the restoration of the abolished organizations and the abolishment of a newly established entity instead.

"Our boycott will be comprehensive and noisy. The international writer’s community will be involved in it and we will seek alternative ways to publish our books - this will be a temporary measure before our full victory, until the restoration of the status quo in the field and before returning to the full working process. This is the individual protest of writers. Every subscriber is personally responsible for their position, condemns the unification of the "Writers’ House" and "Georgian National Book Center" as one organization and boycotts the newly established “National Foundation of Georgian Literature”, reads the statement released by Georgian writers.

Georgian authors note that in recent times they have seen the "unbelievable process" of ignoring writers and their opinions.

According to them, at this stage, the need for preparation for the Paris 2021 Book Fair are being completely ignored. Additionally, they say,  the meetings they are invited to by representatives of state or the sphere, are "an attempt to obtain writers' consent for a picture created by them".

"In recent years, we have the impression that people who work in our sphere are punished for their honest service to our country. But Georgian writers, as a unity of artists, among them individual artists, do not recognize the right of the authorities, such as ministers and their deputies, to change our working environment”, reads the statement released by writers, translators and publishers, which is being signed by representatives of the sphere.

The information regarding the abolishment of the “Georgian National Book Center” and the “Writers’ House” and establishment of a new, large-scale organization was spread on May 3. Many writers immediately claimed that the decision was political. They also noted that it was the revenge of the government for the writers’ "disobedience."

Photo: Writers' House/Facebook

By Ana Dumbadze

01 July 2019 11:55