On Thursday in Skopje, the EU-funded project called Regional Network for Cultural Diversity (READ) had its final meeting. The project’s goal was to promote literary cultural exchange among five nations: North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, and Turkey.

During the four years of the READ initiative, nearly 450 writers, translators, and activists attended 13 literary festival editions, and 92 grants were given to local civil organisations.

As part of the project, 57 books were translated and promoted, according to the conference organisers. In addition, thirty authors spent a month living in one of the participating nations, 39 regional workshops for youth were organised, and almost 15,000 individuals interacted with the “READ on Wheels” initiative. The project uses reading culture and managing supra-regional high-quality literary works to advance democratic ideas and international reading abilities.According to the Goethe-Institut Skopje, the READ initiative accomplished exactly what books usually do: it paved the way for new opportunities for collaboration and partnerships in the cultural sector while also serving as a conduit for communication among local writers.

Head of the Goethe-Institut Skopje, David Geer, EU ambassador, and Petra Drexler, German ambassador At the READ project conclusion event, Katrin Ostwald-Richter and Marija Chorbeva-Penovska, the project manager, spoke.

The heads of the project partners, Gjoko Zdraveski, a poet from Macedonia, and Radmila Petrovikj, a poetess from Serbia, as well as Bujar Luma from the Centre for Balkan Cooperation-Loja (North Macedonia), Maja Vukovikj-Biserko from the Association Krokodil (Serbia), Irena Toçi from Albania, and Mehmet Demirtaş from Turkey,participated at the conference.