22 Feb 2019

EU-Japan cultural relations: Writing residency in Okinawa

Four European authors explored the territory of Okinawa, Japan, during a week-long writing residency.

The residency programme, result of a partnership between the Directorate General for Education and Culture (European Commission), the Cultural Diplomacy platform and Cricao, through the Colab Quarter project — gave the four authors the occasion to work outside their usual environments, providing them with time to reflect and discover a new culture. During the residency, authors explored a new territory, the island of Okinawa, a place steeped in history, with its unique culture, spirituality and rituals. An island that reflects contemporary geopolitical issues with the presence of American military bases as well as North Korea and China, making the island a strategic location. This complexity, between the global and the local, reflects the contemporary world, between global geopolitics and local culture. Resilience was the theme of the residency. In the end, it was memorable and enlightening experience and there is no doubt this journey in Okinawa will have a long-term impact on the authors life and work. In the words of Lidija Dimkovska (EUPL Winner 2013), the experience was such that she has “a lot of materials and inspiration one day to write something concrete about my stay in Japan.” A 20 minutes long documentary stemming from the residency is now available on our YouTube Channel. Enjoy watching!