Official Nordic co-operation is channelled through two organisations: the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Nordbok (Nordic Literature and Library Committee) is a committee under the Nordic Council of Ministers. It was appointed on 1. January 1989 with a view to encourage the propagation of Nordic literature and to strengthen public library co-operation in the Nordic countries.
Great interest in Nordic project funding
Each year Nordbok offers funding for projects, the deadline for applications being 1. April. Consideration of the applications for 2003 took place at a meeting of Nordbok towards the end of May this year. In the committee’s budget for 2003 a sum of NOK 1,230,000 had been earmarked for project support and this amount was distributed in its entirety. The secretariat received 32 applications representing a total of NOK 5,547,00. Grants were made to 18 applicants, 11 of which were libraries. Five applications came from institutions either engaged in arranging courses for authors and translators or in some way working to promote literature in the Nordic region.
Two of the applications approved came from professional writers’ organisations. 14 applications were rejected.
In addition to funding provided for normal projects, the sum of NOK 510.000 was granted to a seminar for writers at the course centre Biskops- Arno in Sweden and a further NOK 835,000 to the Nordic Library Week Twilight Zone, a library initiative which takes place in all the Nordic countries every November. The theme this year is The Nordic Region and the Sea.
Details of those projects which have been granted funding are available on Nordbok’s website www.nordbok.org
Grants for translations, etc.
Nordbok also administers funding for translation of books between the Nordic languages and offers scholarships to translators who work in the Nordic minority languages (Greenlandic, Sami and Faeroese). There are two deadlines each year for applications, 1. April and 1. September. This year’s first dateline saw 161 applications for financial support towards translation/publication and 12 applications for scholarships. Applications represented a total sum of NOK 5,917,000.
Nordbok approved five scholarships amounting to a total of NOK 100.000. A further NOK 1,070,000 was granted towards the translation of 68 books.
Nordbok at IFLA – 2005
Each year the Nordic Council of Ministers offers funding for strategic cultural initiatives. For 2003 the sum of DKK 6,621,00 was set aside for this purpose.
Of this amount DKK 2,000,000 has been earmarked for The multicultural society of the Nordic region, including the Nordic aboriginal peoples. Applications for projects of this nature were considered by the Council on 4. June. Nordbok received a grant of DKK 700,000 towards the project Nordic – more than Scandinavian. This project is an exhibition of literature and photographs of the Nordic aboriginal peoples, minority language groups and today’s immigrants.
The first objective is to present this exhibition at IFLA-2005 which will take place in Oslo in August 2005. Nordbok also hopes to bring the exhibition to the Books and Libraries Fair to be held in Gothenburg in September that same year.
We intend to produce a professional exhibition aimed at presenting the culture and literature of the Nordic aboriginal people, minority groups and immigrants. The exhibition will be a combination of literature and photographs originating from these cultural groups. By means of visual displays, texts and books, the exhibition will reveal aspects of the multicultural nature of the Nordic region which are little known, not only to the world but also within the region itself.
The exhibition catalogue is a very important feature and will be a richly illustrated book of about 150 pages. The catalogue and all exhibition displays will have texts in English and in one of the Nordic languages. After Oslo and Gothenburg we hope it will be possible to present the exhibition elsewhere throughout the Nordic countries.
Translated by Eric Deverill