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Review 6.1: The Visitor, by Antje Damm

The Visitor, by Antje Damm
Article By Bob Abor
Fu Li, Beijing
It is a traditional for Chinese with their kids to go to public places of amusement on International Children’s Day which is celebrated on June 1st every year. This year the situation was quite different at Fu Li, Beijing as children accompanied by their parents spent a greater part of this historic day learning about fascinating illustrations from a popular German author Mrs. Antje Damm. Thanks to the 4th EU-China International Literary Festival, 2019. Mrs. Antje Damm, who was expressed happiness to be at the children’s literature festival, set the ball rolling by first showing to participants the room where she does her creative work from. Although she has illustrated over 30 children’s and picture books, Mrs. Antje Damm was quick to acknowledge that illustration is not as simple as many participants think. In this regard, she took them through the processes of illustrations before the final product-a book-can be published. In doing this, she employed a more participatory approach by projecting her illustrations to the audiences starting from sketch to the finished work and asking them after whether they liked it or not. An illustration involves about four stages from sketch to a ready picture, based on her slide show. There was a general agreement among participants that the final drawing was more meaningful and visually impressive compared to the sketch. Mrs. Antje Damm attributes this to ingredients such as colour, light texts which are applied at each stage of the creation process. To drive this point home, she selected one of her famous books Entitled; The Visitor. Precisely, the book is about a girl known as Elise. She lived her entire life in-house and thus, was very scared of people and even trees. But sometimes she would open the window to get fresh air. One day something interesting happened; the paper plane entered through the window to her room. That night she became scared as she dreamed that the paper planes were flying all over in her room. Later, she heard someone knocking at her door. She had never experienced it before. The door kept knocking. On opening it, she found that it was a boy. She directed the boy to the bathroom. The boy disappeared and later came back. The boy asked who is in the photo that was hanged on the wall. Elise replied that it is her picture when she was still young. She showed him the book shelves and asked if she could read one part of the book to him. She read it but the boy wanted her to read everything in the book. She gave him a cake. And then, told the boy to go home since it was getting late. She asked the boy what his names are. He replied to her that he is called Emils.
After all these, Elise went to read but all she was seeing were paper planes. At this point, the book is ready but the story is incomplete because it is not clear whether the two met again. But what is more important is that the narrative helps in the developing illustrations. Having been informed by the moderator Mr. that Chinese children love drawing pictures, she engaged them in creative assignments for the main characters-Elise and Emil-in her book. These were; making a new home for Elise out of a card box and paper planes like Emil’s. Mrs. Antje Damm, whose books have been translated into 14 languages including Chinese, said that colors are very important in illustrations. Children decorated the paper planes with their favorite colors. This approach proved exciting as children flied their paper planes together after accomplishing making them.
Feedback obtained from the children as well as parents indicate that the session was not only exciting but very rewarding in artistic terms.
“Today, I learnt how to draw illustrations for a picture book. I will practice it during my free time at home,” said Li Zi You, a grade five pupil at Chui Yang Liu School in Chaoyang.
Our children were very active and excited throughout the session. They now know how to think critically and create meanings through illustrations. It’s a great event,” Mr. Nai Yi Ji said.
At the end of the event, many parents and their children got the opportunity to have their preferred pictures drawn for them. She did many illustrations for children, including the popular Spiderman as parents took photos of their children paying attention to the details. The visibly excited children never wanted this fascinating session to close despite the tight schedule. At the end of the event, parents were seen lining up at Citic Bookshop to buy copies of her famous books brought at the event to inspire their children into drawing. When these children become great book illustrators in future, the EU-China International Literary Festival will go down in the history books for giving them the needed inspiration and exposure to great artistic pieces.

Review 6.1: To a poet nothing can be useless

Article by: Bob Abor
Location: Qi Hao
Event date: 2019/6/1
For starters, a famed writer Samuel Johnson said that “to a poet nothing can be useless.” Thus, a poet who knows most will be best equipped to diversify scenes, gratify readers and produce unexpected allusions and instructions because every idea is useful. The 4th EU-China International Literary Festival 2019 brought on stage acclaimed Chinese Poet Mr. Xi Chuan, a lawyer-turned-poet from Bulgaria, and Swedish poet, Ulrika Nielsen. The trio examined the relevance of this statement in the contemporary poetry landscape. Keti Bozokuva concurs with Samuel Johnson that everything around us can make a beautiful poem as long as it can reflect your emotions on a white sheet. Mr. Xi Chuan, however, disagrees with Johnson’s opinion on ground that it is too western oriented. He observed that China has a different genre. Chinese poets borrow a lot from the past before writing something. Thus, poetry in China follows the classical form. In so doing, they know that the form itself refuses some materials. He said that this is contrary with the new approach where you have to cross something and include new ones. Ulrika Nielsen observed that the smaller something is, the seemingly more meaningless it is, and then the more interesting it is to write about. She also acknowledges that her writing is intertextual since it goes a lot in dialogue with other authors. Whether there are there some things that can be destructed inherently to create a meaning, Mr. Xi Chuan said that writing is very vulnerable. “When it is broken you need time to recover it. The tragic incidence changes your past opinion and makes you lose your confidence. So if you need to come back to writing some audiences will be destroyed by this tragic incidence. Therefore, you need to hold on to the original style to remain on track,” Mr. Xi Chuan explained. To Keti Bozokuva, what is important is to learn the context? It is more significant for readers to read the poem and feel it personally. She mentioned that based on her experience as a lawyer, we interpret a statement differently. She concluded that she travels a lot to meet wonderful artists around the world and this gives her creativity in work.
Ulrika expressed a different perspective. She said that it is dangerous for an author to convince. “I just have to put a question mark when writng because if I don’t, I would be unintelligent because there is no black and white in the real world,” she said. She added that world is complicated and thus, an author must forget himself/herself if they want audience to know universal truth.
On whether they ever feel in the face of this knowledge overwhelmed, Keti Bozokuza said that writing just happens to her for example when she travels, walk on the streets, or take a vessel and ride. Thus, it does not take her a lot to write. She has different poems from different types of work. On the other hand, Ulrika Nielsen said that she does not forget that she is a poet. For this reason, she tries to be at the same level with the readers. “It can help if I have a lot of knowledge. However, I must not impose myself on the readers,” she explained. Mr. Xi Chuan acknowledged that is it is difficult task to him to explain because in ancient China one has to know everything in the world in order to be considered as a poet. He, however, noted that according to Zan-Buddhism a poet needs to make an instant response to ideas. Therefore, a poet needs not to go to the folks.
Like other artistic forms, poetry is shaped by several factors. The poets shared with participants who their greatest influences in poetry are.
For Keti Bozokuza, there is a tradition in Bulgaria that influences her poetry.
Mr. Xi Chuan, who also lectures at Beijing Normal University, said that his poetry is determined by varied factors. First, he had the chance to read poems from other countries such as France, Spain because since he grew up at a time when China was open to the outside world. Thus, the authors he read their books became part of his existence. Secondly, his work is also greatly shaped by paintings, films and dance has also shaped his work. He cited that he once attended a Spanish dance concert and realized that they were very accurate in their dancing. When he reflected this in his work he felt that his writing is very rough. This influenced him to change and become more truthful. Mr. Xi Chuan concluded that much as he also takes influences from nature like trees and stones, sometimes he uses his own words to describe his emotions and feelings to the readers.
Ulrika Nielsen admires a Russian film director and she lives inside me. This is reflected throughout my work.
During the exciting Q & A session, a participant asked how they reconcile the two notions that poets write for the people and that a poet knows everything in the world.
Mr. Xi Chuan replied that it depends on the school of thought that the poet subscribes to. He cited that Russian and American poets say that poets write for the people. The framework given by an American author is the writer, God and the audience. However, he noted that sometimes he just write for himself, though later he may feel that it is the time to share it with his friends. He writes what he wants to express.

Review 5.31: Launch party of the final wave of the 4th festival

Held at the Beijing BookWorm
Opening of final session.
Time: 18:00 – 19:30pm
Date: 31-05-2019
Number of authors: Nine EU authors and four Chinese authors.

The final session of the 4th EU China Book festival was held at The BookWorm in Sanlitun on Friday, 31st of May, 2019. The event brought together book lovers and book readers from all over Beijing, media personnel, representatives from the European Union, European Embassy representatives as well as nine authors from Europe and four Chinese authors who were all going to be sharing their literary works over the weekend at various events, under different themes.
Program Director of the Festival, Peter Goff, who also doubled as Master of Ceremony for the event introduced the event saying that, over the past four years, the festival had brought together fifty-six European authors who had immensely contributed to the festival through their exchange of literary knowledge with the Chinese authors and audience. Speaking at the launch of the final session, Peter mentioned that the festival had been to various cities in China such as Shanghai, Chengdu just to name a few. He mentioned that over the years there had been several hundred events with numerous participants, acknowledging the presence of a thriving online viewing community which participated via live streaming. The idea of the festival was conceived after a visit from the European Union delegation to China and has successfully been held for four years being facilitated by the Citic Press.
William Fingleton, Head of Press and Information with the Delegation of the EU to China, who spoke at the event articulated how pleased he was to be joining the event. He emphasized the role of the written word in China, elaborating on the significant role the written word plays in the Chinese society by unifying different factions of the society. He mentioned that beyond the connectivity and collaboration between Europe and Asia which mainly focused on building concrete roads and bridges, cultural exchange was also an important aspect of this exchange which should not be overlooked. He said this exchange, which has been mainly through literature, music and arts have been very instrumental in bridging the cultural gap and strengthening the relationship between China and Europe. He was hopeful that such meaningful and integral exchanges would continue in the future.
Manager of Citic Press, Shi Hong Jun, commended the venue of the event (The BookWorm). He reiterated that it made much sense that a book festival of this nature would be held at a venue where there were many different genres of books that highlighted the essence of the festival. He mentioned the power of globalization, stating the power of online publishing and how the Chinese audience were catching up remarkably well with this new trend. Speaking as a representative of one the best Publishing Companies in China, Shi Hong Jun stated that the festival renders book lovers and book readers the rare opportunity to meet face to face with the authors. He stated that the festival offered the opportunity for both European Union authors and Chinese authors to interact and exchange salient ideas that were pivotal to building knowledge. He was expectant to hear and read more beautiful stories form the authors.
The event brought together nine authors from Europe and four authors from China. The European authors for this event came from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Malta, Sweden, Romania, France and Spain. Audience were given the opportunity to hear from and engage with all the twelve authors present who mounted the stage to introduce themselves and share a word or two concerning the festival.
From Bulagaria, Keti Bozukova expressed her immense gratitude to the organizers for extending the invitation to be part of this very significant book festival. Reminiscing the memories from her first visit to China some twenty years ago, she mentioned that she was impressed with what she had seen so far. After visiting almost fifty-five countries, she believes her trips have had a huge impact on her work as an author and a poet. Radka Trestikova from Czech Republic introduced her country to the audience. A writer of screen plays and an author of books, Radka mentioned how her passion in book writing and her love for books had led her to publishing five books. However, she was hopeful that her books will soon be translated to Chinese.
Author Piret Raud from Estonia said her country had a population of approximately one million. Not being a fan of counting the books she has written and published she said she had published between fifteen to twenty books. Piret eulogized the indefatigable role that readers played in the book writing business. To her, readers were the most important people because without them the role of writers would be insignificant. She was very excited to share her stories with the people of china especially, her book, The Ear, which she had written about the art of listening.
Chinese author Yuan Ling was happy about the event and the underlying ideology behind the festival, which was to encourage interaction with authors from the EU and China. A former journalist and writer himself, he had written and explored different genres. One of his major goals, he told the audience was to explore the boundary between fiction and nonfiction. He was working on another book he was hopeful would be published in about a month which was going to be centered around the stories and lives of children in both rural and urban settings.
Speaking after Yuan Ling, German author, Antje Damm described how writing was a platform that created spaces for people to travel to different places, know about other people and also stimulate conversations between the younger and older generations. She said good books make people active, get us engaged through appealing to our feelings and give us the opportunity to experience new things.
Claire Azzopardi from Malta, who is a teacher and a children’s writer was enthusiastic about being part of this festival. As a child, the opportunity to travel was very rare however, writing had presented her a great opportunity to move from her small country to experience different cultures all over the world. She was expectant that her dreams would be transferred to the children as she interacts with them during the festival.
Being the only European male author present at the launch, Science fiction author Rafal Kosik from Poland introduced to the audience a brief part of his journey as a writer. As a writer from Poland who has published close to thirty books, he said he had always looked forward to write science fiction and give people the opportunity to share knowledge with other people through writing. He chose to write for young adults because he was able to create more spaces to aggravate their imagination.
Author, Hei Mi from south of China stated how her love for painting and illustration had led her into publishing her books. A detailed artist and a teacher of painting for children, she was very pragmatic with her work. She emphasized the amount of time she spends in coming out with a book. She was intrigued about her new project which was based on children’s songs. Swedish author, Uriak Nielson was keen about language and the role it plays in literature. According to her, “the greatest adventure for me is language and I have to be inside language and try to investigate what is really going on in the world and around human beings”. She said that she was interested in language, investigating forms and genres. Another thing that really fascinated her was ordinary lives, small things, gaps and language. These, to her, are places where very fascinating things took place in the hidden. She was delighted about the experience.
Quan Zhou, also spoke on how her experience as a Chinese born in Spain had turned to a career in book writing. She was excited about sharing her story with the people of China and spoke on how famous her work in Spain had become as she poured her experience through writing comic books for the people of Spain. Author Adina Rosetti from Romania spoke on how writing becomes a great tool for combating a person’s demons. She had discovered over the years that literature was a magical experience and writing for children was the best way to teach them values of empathy and encourage them to be creative thinkers. She stated how she was ready to dedicate her life to new writing projects for children. She shared with the audience how she just had quit her job as a journalist to pursue her dream as a writer for children.
Chinese author A Yi, who was the last author to speak expressed his pleasure meeting the other authors. With a very admirable sense of humor, he thrilled the audience to interesting conversations on age, writing and his interests. A former police officer, A Yi said he enjoyed reading crime and suspense novels. He said most of his work were centered around fighting. He spoke of a book he wrote where the hero dies on the first page of the story.
The event ended with a question and answer session. Audience were curious to hear from the authors’ perspectives experiences on creating and writing stories, the impact of the EU China festival in other jurisdictions in Europe and the authors’ impression of Beijing.
Peter Goff pre-concluded the event by expressing his thanks to all stakeholders present at the festival. He also briefly touched on the process of selecting authors for the festival which he said, involved a lot of careful planning and detailed selection after several interactions and consultations with the respective embassies.
The event which was well-attended ended with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Audience were thrilled by the work of these renowned authors. Participants interviewed after the session were super excited for the final events of the Book Festival.

Brief Texts on the Open and Unsettled, Texts from Ulrika Nielsen´s book

Texts from Ulrika Nielsen´s book
Translated by Olivia Olsen


Trouble with the big questions

What is your greatest wish?
What event has most profoundly changed you?
Which was the happiest day of your life?

The smaller ones come closer

How do you take off your shoes? Do you put them away or just leave them?


Hotel breakfast, a lavish buffet. A man enters. He is slight, dressed in an exquisite suit, with a modest, well-trimmed beard and horn-rimmed glasses. He helps himself at the buffet: a pear. He sits at a table, places the linen napkin in his lap, and peels the fruit; the peel spirals down onto the plate, his fingers remain dry. He eats the pear with knife and fork. Then he sweeps an espresso, presses the napkin to his lips, places it with an easy and artful movement on the table, stands up, and leaves.

This was many years ago.
I think of him still.
How I want his pear.


Her father would make calculations several times a day. That was what the family called it, when he counted money. He made calculations on the backs of receipts, on letters and forms, in the margins of the daily paper. Here and there all over the home his straggling numbers would be found, arranged in strange formations, written in blue ballpoint. After his death they found calculations in his desk, written in pencil on the wood at the bottom of the drawer.

She never understood what operations he used, whether it was addition or subtraction or multiplication or an arithmetic of his own devising. The varying numbers and results confused her. Deciphering them was like reading a kind of hieroglyphics. After he had finished making calculations he would often sit very still for a while, and look out the window. The restless gaze as he lowered his pen, the light that fell over his heavy hands on the tabletop. Sometimes his lips moved slightly, as though he wasn’t quite done, but only in the next phase of an always ongoing process.

The problem with the calculations, as far as she could understand, was that they constantly had to be redone in the face of a constantly changing reality. Stock prices would suddenly fall. Interest rates would suddenly rise. His wife, her mother, would decide to make a significant purchase that in turn led to more expenditures that he hadn’t accounted for. She never quite knew whether the calculations moved within the space of smaller time or greater time; if they concerned themselves with the income and expenses of the current month, or whether it was her father’s financial life’s work, possibly his entire existence, at stake.

The calculations were inherited. She didn’t do them often, and always with only a part of herself, while the other watched, much in the same way she in childhood had watched her father’s almost mystical activity. In truth, she understood as little of the calculations now, even as she, herself, performed them. She did not use a pen and scraps of paper, but the computer and the calculator on her phone, and none of it left any trace and was immediately forgotten. After each calculation she was left with a kind of live anxiety that brushed up against the volatility of all existence.


One day when I’d washed her windows and we sat on the balcony for a cup of coffee and a cigarette she said: One should never do things too thoroughly. Then she said: I’ll never stop smoking.


Each time a cab stops in front of our house I imagine it’s me coming home.


Their father’s death was full of pain. When
finally he breathed his last, with large
amounts of morphine in his body, his lips
welled over with blood. They became
fixated by his death. Though he was no
longer alive they continued to go
see him. They visited him at the morgue,
the cool room there. An attendant followed
them inside, unlocked the cold storage
where he lay, pulled the coffin out and placed it
open on a table. They stood and watched him,
touched him. He looked so calm.
They wondered at this serenity that had
settled over their father. It was as though
he’d left that intractable “himself” behind
and sailed off. It seemed a miracle. They
looked closer: wasn’t it rather
death that had left him
behind, here? Would he soon again
get up and
head out to the bar?


Later, at the grave, one of the sons collapsed.
His scream was all of time; all his
childhood and all his father’s
childhood too that in the space of a moment pressed themselves through
his consciousness.


Loose change in a bowl with buttons, rusted paper clips and dust…

A fainted weekday, and a family member chewing his feed…

Mother’s teaspoon, with dregs of loose-boiled egg…

etcetera etcetera…


Watching films as a child, she rarely made much effort to follow the plot. Perhaps she didn’t understand that was the point. Her focus fell, instead, on the light, the heaving fields, the words and how they travelled, voices, gestures, the heft and lightness of bodies, the honey-flow of clothing… Later in life she began to make an effort: it had to do with her newfound interest in normality and what it had to offer. She followed the plot. But every so often she zoomed out, disappeared a little, so to speak. A distraction of sorts. Perhaps she was pulled into a kind of deep, where she found nothing other than depth itself, and then – a path…


The sea cucumber will allow pearlfish to find shelter in its backside at night.
A single one can hold entire schools.

Whether it receives anything in return, I don’t know.
Could also be I remember it wrong.


Until now she’d never thought of the fact that she has a spleen.
It came to her, and she started, as at the sudden realization of something left on the stove.
Where is it? She pressed down on her abdomen, to the right, to the left.
What does it do all day?


To “choose joy” wasn’t really working.
Cultivating joylessness wasn’t working either.

There were times she couldn’t push into the day.
She’d drift about on its surface, like a bee unable to find its way into the hive, or out of it – she wasn’t sure of the direction.
She devoured a bowl of raspberries.
She trudged on in the whirli

由Olivia Olsen翻译















散落的零钱在碗里还有纽扣,生锈的曲别针和尘埃… …
一个昏沉的工作日,和一个吃着狗粮的家庭成员… …
母亲的茶匙,上面还有没煮熟的鸡蛋的渣… …
等等 等等… …

小时候看电影,她从不费心去追随剧情。或许她不理解那才是重点。她把注意力放到了光线,起伏的田野,台词和他们如何旅行,声音,手势,身体的灵活与轻盈,衣裳的流动… …后来,她开始试着了解剧情:这和她新发现的对常态的兴趣及它能给她的东西有关。她追随者剧情。但她每每会拉远一些,会消失一点,这么说吧。某种分神。或许她被拉进某种深,那里除了深邃本身再无他物,然后—一条路… …




The Shy Mobile Phone, by Piret Raud

Piret Raud
Translated into English by Susan Wilson
Uncle Ralf bought himself a new mobile phone. He realised fairly soon that he’d picked a very nervous model. Each time someone called him, the new mobile would shiver and shake all over. The phone’s nervous nature was a worry to Uncle Ralf.
“It’s supposed to shake,” Uncle Ralf’s Mum reassured him. “It’s got a vibrating alert mechanism.”
She showed him how to stop the shaking by pressing various buttons on the keypad, but unfortunately pressing those buttons on Uncle Ralf’s phone did no good. The phone carried on trembling just the same, more and more fearfully with each call.
Uncle Ralf was sorry for the poor little thing. He really loved his phone.
“Don’t call me any more!” he told his friends. “It scares my phone.”
Uncle Ralf’s friends stopped calling him, they stopped inviting him out to the cinema or to the football or to rock concerts. Not that Uncle Ralf would have wanted to go because places like that are very noisy and his phone wouldn’t have liked it.
He simply went fishing by the lake.
It’s important to be really quiet when fishing so that the fish won’t swim away from the line, and keeping quiet was something his phone could do.
Uncle Ralf and his phone spent several hours there fishing until an awful thing happened. The phone rang! It was Uncle Ralf’s Mum, who was expecting him back for lunch. Mum wasn’t bothered about his phone being scared. She was much more worried that the lunch would get cold while she was waiting for him.
Uncle Ralf took the quivering phone out of his pocket to answer his Mum, but the phone was trembling so violently that it fell, splash! into the water. Uncle Ralf immediately tore off his clothes and dived in after it, but unfortunately it was nowhere to be found.
Uncle Ralf had no choice but to buy himself a new phone. The first call he made was to the old phone. Uncle Ralf hoped that this would be a way of finding his old friend.
“Hello, where are you? I’ll come and get you straight away!” he shouted to the phone.
It was no shy mobile phone who answered, however. It was a fish, who said, “Please don’t phone this number again! It scares my lovely little phone.”

Piret Raud
由Susan Wilson译作英文

Rosary, by Rafał Kosik

Rafał Kosik
“Very well, let’s start at the beginning. Let’s go back to the moment when the system began working in the main police station in the Warsaw Ring. Similar systems were already functioning in several other cities. g.A.I.a. was designed for diagnostic purposes, so it wasn’t necessary to supervise the quality of internal procedures. The programme installed on the police server was meant to help police in supervising former inmates, identified by psychologists as potential threats to society. It analysed all available data from their previous lives, with specific consideration of events that could cause lasting psychological damage. It’s been known for many years that a child that’s regular beaten by its parents will more readily use violence in adult life. A young person who falls into bad company will always remain vulnerable to certain temptations.
“Initially the number of PZ points for types of incidents was imposed, but the programme was soon allowed to modify them flexibly and independently. After the integration of g.A.I.a. with citywide monitoring and private CCTV networks the quantity of data flowing in surpassed the staff’s capabilities. People began to limit and slow down AI. Operational supervision by humans was given up and all that was left was random checks. That was the moment g.A.I.a. acquired real power, although no one suspected that yet. At that time, it was only one of the municipal security systems – and not even the most important one. Mimer – a body-language analysing programme – was uncovering several times more crimes every week. The disadvantage was its digital precognition time – it was only able to predict crimes a few minutes or even a few seconds before they happened. It swiftly turned out that combining the two systems brought nothing but advantages. At first, they worked together, but a month hadn’t gone by before the more effective g.A.I.a. absorbed the simple Mimer and began using it as its own tool. Over the course of a year, all the smart prophylactic systems had become sub-programmes of g.A.I.a., and over the course of the next five years similar systems from other cities became spontaneously integrated. Even Manfred – a traffic-directing system – became part of g.A.I.a. An exchange of information considerably increased the precision of defining PZ. At a certain moment we realised that a single common g.A.I.a. was operating in every city. PZ became a very dynamic variable. Tabular data could no longer deal with the complexity of analytical processes and under pressure of public opinion – which always valued security – g.A.I.a. became free of the responsibility of storing data in a way that was comprehensible to people. In the rings where the authorities didn’t agree to change it happened anyway. Unofficially. The relational database collapsed into an apparently chaotic contextual data base, and then into a dynamic structure which the human mind was incapable of grasping. That wasn’t regarded as a problem, because the results were better and better, and anyway, after the Transformation security became a priority.”
Translated by David French
Rafał Kosik
由 David French译作英文

Felix, Net and Nika and the Gang of Invisible People, by Rafał Kosik

Rafał Kosik
Felix, Net and Nika and the Gang of Invisible People
They headed to their headquarters at the school attic, following the usual precautions. Felix switched on the monitor and selected a wavelength for the drone’s camera. The image was full of static, but it was possible to make out a child’s room and a door.
“More than a kilometre,” said Felix. “But we don’t have time. The battery’s going to die soon.”
On the screen they could see two young boys. One of them grabbed the drone and started running around the room, pretending it was flying.
“He’s going to smash it any minute,” Felix said, clenching his teeth.
He turned on the remote control and put his thumbs on the switches.
“Wait,” Net warned him.
And so, they watched helplessly as the boy carried out an imaginary mission and knocked down houses made of Lego with his other hand, pretending to strike them with rockets. Then the drone overturned model cars with imaginary anti-tank missiles.
“Now!” Nika shouted, and Felix immediately started the propellers. On the screen they could see the other boy’s hands trying to snatch the drone.
The boys’ mouths made shapes that looked like they were saying “Wow!” Then they both started jumping, trying to reach the toy. Felix tried to avoid catching by the boys. It was tricky because the remote control didn’t work very precisely at such a distance.
“The window!” shouted Net. “It’s open a crack!”
Felix turned the drone towards the window, made a spectacular manoeuvre and flew through the narrow opening.
“Where are we… I mean, where is it?” Net asked.
“It looks familiar, though,” Nika said, thinking carefully.
Battling against the wind, the drone rose over the treetops and slowly turned around. They could make out the school attic on the monitor. Felix pushed on the controls and the drone started heading towards the attic. It was going against the wind.
“Open the window,” Felix said.
Net cracked open one pane of the small, semi-circular window and the sound of a police siren reached them along with a gust of fresh air.
“I wonder what’s going on,” Net remarked, trying to peek out.
“I’ve got the car on the monitor,” exclaimed Felix.
The police car was really speeding. A white van was racing three hundred metres in front of it. The three friends watched in suspense.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Felix asked.
“It’s the Gang of Invisible People!” Net answered. “They’ve robbed another bank. They’ve got no chance of escaping!”
Another police car was approaching from the other end of the street.
“The battery is dying,” Felix announced, but he didn’t hesitate. He made the drone rise even higher and turned it, pointing the camera straight at the chase.
With a squeal of tyres which they could hear through the window, the white van turned into a side street and drove into a white lorry. It didn’t hit the lorry – it literally drove up its ramp at the back and entered it. The ramp shut quickly. Both police cars turned into the side street, drove past the lorry and kept going.
“Holy cow!” Net exclaimed. “So that’s how they disappear…”
Translated by Scotia Gilroy

作者Rafał Kosik



























Veselí, by Radka Trestikova

Radka Trestikova
I probably wouldn’t be sitting here if Rostislav didn’t throw in my face, what he threw in it. Sitting in seat no. 13 in a crowded compartment on the Šohaj express. Thirteen is my lucky number, so I consider my seat assignment quite symbolic in spite of the fact that someone has written “sucker” on my headrest. My birthday is on the 13th. The 13th of May. That’s today. It’s the start of the last phase of my childhood, which I only realize once it’s over. No one finds that out beforehand.
The landscape moving quickly past the window matches the speed of the train and there’s nothing “express” about it. But I don’t mind. I’m not in any hurry. I have time. I put on my sunglasses because the sun is now shining directly on to my face so that I have to squint, which gives me crow’s feet. Which reminds me I’m already 33. Three is the first actual real number, as opposed to the one as a unit and the two as its counterpart. Three is the beginning, the middle and the end. Three is the past, the present and the future. Three is the father, the mother and the child. Like me. Three is faith, hope and love, at least according to Google, until I lose my cell reception. Then I’m resigned to watch all the colorful clothes hanging on the balconies along the train tracks. Towels, boxers, sweatpants with stretched out knees, pajamas and old T-shirts blow in the wind in celebration of the victory of working women everywhere, or people everywhere, to be politically correct – equal opportunity was a big issue at my old company, equal pay, equal overtimes, same company gifts, delicate flowers for the men and bottles of expensive liquor for the women. There was even a two-month long debate over unisex toilets and a standardized email greeting, which was finally settled on an inoffensive “Hello everyone.” Toilets remained gender assigned. Before our train manages to chug along past the clothes lines at its killer speed, women/men take the clothes down, and those on top of their domestic game even manage to iron and fold them. I yawn.
I take my ticket out of my plain black wallet given to me by my ex-boyfriend’s wife along with the bitterly worded note kindly asking me to start paying for myself. I wait my turn in the cluster of outstretched hands. I’d have a shot of vodka and put my life in order or get wasted and block out the mess that is my life for another day or two. But I don’t have any room left to block out all of my failed attempts, unanswered questions and misunderstandings. My head is like this crowded compartment, I can’t breathe but I can’t for the life of me get the window opened. I’m so embarrassed to ask for help that I don’t ask for it. If the older elegant gentleman in the grey hat sitting next to me didn’t open it I may have suffocated.
“We could use some fresh air in here,” he says and sits down.
There’s eight of us in the compartment altogether. Me, the man in the hat, a resolute woman with two walking canes and two children, a student with a French On y va! textbook and a young couple who have had their tongues shamelessly down their throats for the past hour. I may have daydreamed myself into thinking that I am in fact travelling through the French countryside to Paris were it not for the blunt THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT graffiti on the opposite wall. The word “fuck” underlined. Twice. I’m not going to Paris. I’m heading to 48° 57’13” latitude and 17°22’35” longitude. Try finding it on a map. I used to be convinced that there about lies the edge of the world or at least its butthole. I felt nothing but disdain for everything that I didn’t like and anything that didn’t meet my expectations I had of the big wide world. I mocked the tastelessness, the accent, the hillbilliness, everything seemed so completely outdated and I didn’t want to let any of it to get to me or to admit to myself that some of it is still very much a part of me. Me – the girl from the big city, who’s not a girl from the big city at all. I’m hopelessly incapable of becoming someone I’m not.

Radka Trestikova
车厢里一共有我们八个人。我,戴帽子的先生,表情严肃拄两根手杖带着两个小孩的女人,一个带着本On y va!法语课本的学生,和一对在过去一个小时一直旁若无人卿卿我我的年轻情侣。要不是对面墙上写着“你丫看什么呢”的涂鸦,我可能真的会做白日梦以为自己正在穿过法国农村去巴黎的路上。涂鸦中的“你丫的”还特别做了强调。而且强调了两次。我不是去巴黎。我是去北纬48° 57’13”,东经 17°22’35”。你可以试试在地图上找到这个地方。我曾经认为那附近是世界边缘,或者起码是世界的屁眼儿。对于这个辽阔世界一切不讨我喜欢或者没达到我期望的地方,我都不放在眼里。我嘲笑这个世界的索然无味、方言、下里巴人,一切似乎都完全过时了,而我并不想被影响或者对自己承认自己也难以免俗。我—大城市来的姑娘,根本不是来自大城市的姑娘。我无可救药地不能成为另一个人。

Living as a Chinese and a Spaniard, by Quan Zhou

Quan Zhou

Living as a Chinese and a Spaniard

Spain is a fairly small country in Europe. Maybe you don’t know where it is, or maybe you do know the flamenco dance, which is a world heritage, the olive oil, the paella and the jamon serrano. Nowadays, we are pretty popular among tourists.

In 2017, the population of Spain was 46,5 million people, and 4,5 million were foreigners; from those foreigners, only 207.000 are Chinese.

When the Zhou family arrived in a little Spanish town in the 90s there was just one other Chinese family there. And they were not precisely friends, they were rivals because they also had a Chinese restaurant so we were competitors.

My family found out that Spanish people didn’t eat plain rice, and they drank very cold water and even colder beer. They really liked to get very tanned, and they looked at the Zhou’s restaurant with a lot of curiosity. Sometimes they came inside to eat. So there was no other Chinese people to make friends with or build a community with. The Zhou’s were isolated as foreigners amongst Spanish people.

This is where my fist graphic novel “Gazpacho Agridulce” starts, which means “sweet and sour tomato soup”. It is the story of a Chinese family fresh off the boat, 35 years ago in Spain. It examines how identity is made, how Chinese immigrants get along in a different country, and shows the experience of raising a family far from their own country and traditions.

“Andaluchinas por el mundo” is my second graphic novel, an inward and outward trip focused on the three daughters of the Zhou family. You get to know how it is to be a young adult from an immigrant family in a world that is rocked by the financial crisis. I introduce their dreams and also their struggles, and how the society accepts women of Asian descent woman and their mixed-identity.

Both of the novels are based on true events in the life of the Zhou’s.

The “Gazpacho Agridulce” graphic novels were warmly received in Spain and critically acclaimed by the Spanish media. Their different point of view, Spanish yet Chinese, was new to the Spanish public. How Chinese people perceived Spanish traditions, and also how the Chinese people lived their lives was also all new to them. The books were also very warmly received by the Spaniards of Chinese descent.







以上是我的第一本漫画小说“Gazpacho Agridulce”的灵感来源,书名的意思是“糖醋番茄汤”。 小说讲述了一个中国家庭在35年前扬帆出海,前往西班牙的故事。它探讨了身份如何形成,中国移民如何在异国他乡相处,并展现了中国人在远离自己的国家和传统习俗的环境下成家立业的经历。

“Andaluchinas por el mundo”是我的第二部漫画小说,主要讲述周氏家族的三个女儿的心路历程和成长经历。读者将逐渐了解到在一个受金融危机冲击的世界里,来自移民家庭的年轻人是如何成长的。我阐述了他们的梦想和斗争,以及社会如何接受带有多重身份的亚裔女性。


Miss Day-After-Tomorrow and the Game of Time, by Adina Rosetti

Miss Day-After-Tomorrow and the Game of Time

By Adina Rosetti
Translation: Adina Stanciu


Miss Day-After-Tomorrow’s Farce

Well, yes, one day, Miss Day-After-Tomorrow was getting bored. She went to the tower where lived the Wizard of Time, the one who watches over everything and who takes care of turning every Day the pointers of the giant clock from the top of the tower. (Since the beginning of Time, the Wizard never failed, not even a single time. And Time has always passed the same way. Not too fast and not too slow.)
– Come on, uncle, pleaseeeee, said Miss Day-After-Tomorrow, fawning. Make Time pass faster! I am tired of being so young and of living in the Future! I want to grow up and run into the Present, just to see what is happening there!
Even though she was his favourite niece and he enjoyed fulfilling her wishes, this time the old Wizard replied:
– This is impossible, my child! Everything has its own Time!
– But I want it, I want it, I want it! the little one yelled, stomping her feet like the spoiled girl she was. However, the Wizard did not pay attention to her anymore, as he did not like spoiled children one bit. Therefore, Miss Day-After-Tomorrow burst into tears and started running all across the three kingdoms.
Meanwhile, in the marshes of the smelly swamp, the Witch NeverNever was waiting for her moment of revenge. However, she did not dare to go out of her swamp, because there was always someone on guard at the borders of the three kingdoms. Therefore, most of the times she was happy mixing weeds in a cauldron and muttering words known only to her. Suddenly, she saw something like a coloured stain approaching her. That was Miss Day-After-Tomorrow hopping around in the mud, dirting her beautiful silk dress.
– What are you doing here, my child? The Witch NeverNever asked, with a sweet voice.
– Oh, my uncle is so obnoxious! He won’t let me play with Time!
– But who is your uncle? Is he perhaps His Majesty, the Wizard of Time? Is he the one with a long, down-to-the ground, white beard, who lives at the top of the tower?
Witch NeverNever was feeling in the wind the air the moment of revenge and she could hardly stop herself from giggling with excitement.
– Yes, yes, that it is exactly him!, Day-After-Tomorrow said, continuing to whine. I want to grow up faster and he won’t let me fast forward Time. He said ” Everything has its own Time!,” what a bunch of nonsense!
”Yeah, this is exactly what he told me before he drove me away! Now it is payback time!,“ the Witch whispered, smiling to herself.
– Look, Miss, there is no need for you to cry! Take this broth (and the Witch slipped a little bottle full of a gray-green liquor into her pocket) and every night pour a little bit in your uncle’s tea. That will make him fall asleep and then you will be able to cling yourself to those pointers of the giant clock. In this way you can move the Time back and forth, just as you please!
Day-After-Tomorrow left happy and hopeful, while the Witch remained in front of the pot with weeds, grinning and whispering her venomous words:

It will never rain with pink butterflies
The vacation will never come by train from France
Children will never grow wings
Time will never pass again as it should pass!

Said and done! Miss Day-After-Tomorrow listened to the malicious advice of Witch NeverNever without thinking even for a moment that she was doing a bad thing. Under the influence of the potion, The Wizard of Time fell asleep immediately, while she clinged by the pointers of the giant clock. Although the pointers were stiff and full of weeds and cobwebs, she managed to move them and to push them forward.

作者:Adina Rosetti
翻译:Adina Stanciu
嗯,是的,有一天,后天小姐觉得特别无聊。她前往那座生活着时间巫师的塔楼。巫师监视着世界上的所有事物,每天定时搬动塔顶上巨钟的指针。 (从时间伊始,巫师就没有出过差错,一次也没有。而时间,总是以一成不变的方式流逝。不会太快也不会太慢。)
– 但是我就要,我就要,我就要嘛!小小的人儿喊道,像个被宠坏的女孩儿一样跺着脚。然而,巫师不再理会她,因为他一点也不喜欢被宠坏的孩子。因此,后天小姐泪流满面,开始在三个王国中到处奔跑。
-是的,是的,这正是他!后天小姐说道,继续抱怨着。我想要长得更快一些,可他不让我加速时间。他说“一切都有自己的时间!”真是一堆废话! “是的,他在赶我走之前也是这么告诉我的!现在该让他尝尝被报复的滋味了!“女巫低声说,对自己微笑。
咒语说完了! 后天小姐听了永不永远巫婆的恶毒建议,她甚至完全不知道她做了一件坏事。在她触碰时钟指针时,时间巫师因为魔药的原因酣然入睡。虽然指针老旧,还布满了杂草和蜘蛛网,但她还是设法移动了它们并推动着它们前进。

Words with No Voice, by Keti Bozukova


5. The words. Today they are quieter than a stone.
6. A blade of grass. Hope and energy.
7. May night. The frogs serenade me.
8. Birds in love with them compete in singing. It’s hot.
9. Love. A sparkle of inferno on my soul.
10. A snowdrop is blossom in my garden. The spring is coming.
11. The fragrance – turn you full. A blossom linden-tree.
12. A hind. Her eyes are whole universe.
13. Nasturtiums – yellow-red leaflets. Colour tenderness.
14. Bees buzz cheerily around the flowers. I am happy.
15. Roses. Alive like life. They are sharp.
16. The stork swings his pinions. The liberty.
17. It’s summer. Fireflies are illusion for light years.
18. You can’t see squirrels because of tree leaves. It’s summer.
19. Who is the most passionate lover – the trumpet or the trumpeter?
20. The storm calm down. The clouds fade away. A summer haze.
21. A forest path – a strawberry, a barefoot, thyme…Longevity.
22. I walk in the forest, bushes scratch me. A necklace of mushrooms
23. I walk in the forest. I go round an ant-hill. It won’t rain.
24. The eagle flies – he is majestic and proud. He is like a rock.
25. A stream is running violently – white tears from the eye. A lake.
26. Forest strawberries – path marking.
27. A three mushroom – trees are like people. They have warts.
28. Grasshoppers talk with the grass, ants eavesdrop. A meadow.
29. I feed sparrows with crumbs – from my time.
30. A lake. A dragon fly skitters – it sways the mirror.
31. An autumn leaf. Yellow-red magic. A souvenir.
32. Autumn – butterflies tame the wind.
33. The forest listen to a love appeal of deer. It’s autumn.
34. Fingers of the alpinist are wounded. The rock cry.
35. A flood rain. It doesn’t touch the earth. A wind in Sliven.
36. A wave. It goes back before it says “goodbye”.
37. A lightning rend my loneliness.
38. A rain. Tears from the sky fill the well.
39. The wind dances waltz with golden-haired poplars.
40. Swallows – black notes on the electric staff.
41. Forsaken stork nests cry. Autumn.
42. I want piece of the fire cake. A full moon.
43. A belief. Seeker at a venture from the way for nowhere.
44. The steppe wind – a request for intimacy.
45. Sharp white shafts stab my face – a blizzard.
46. The white snow is shining with fire sparkles. A sun in January.
47. I dream a wanderer. White dust is spilling from his boots. It’s salt.
48. Stars don’t die. They fall – straight in our hearts.
49. The words. The sense is around them. Have a look around.

Translation – Plamen Sivov


翻译-Plamen Sivov