Julia Cimafiejeva

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Julia Cimafiejeva (in Belarusian Юля Цімафеева) was born in 1982 near Brahin, Belarus. In her poetry she takes the motifs of nature, identity and language of the rustically-flavoured Belarusian literary tradition and makes them into a site for negotiating questions of socio-cultural transformations in present-day Belarus, which is tearing itself apart in the exhausting field of tension between East and West, delayed nation-building and the challenges of globalisation. As Carsten Hueck has noted, dissention and inner turmoil, the opposite of a self-evident and natural existence, run through her poems as much as the overcoming of obstacles, surprised and surprising self-assertion. In her paradoxical and complex, convoluted metaphors there are also allusions to the poetics of Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane and Charles Bukowski, whom Cimafiejeva highly admires and has translated into Belarusian in recent years. During the mass protests against election fraud in Belarus in 2020 Cimafiejeva kept a diary that was recently published in Sweden. At the end of 2020 Julia Cimafiejeva and her husband, the writer Alhierd Bacharevič, accepted the invitation of the Styrian cultural mediation organisation and have since lived in Graz.

Dagar i Belarus (Days in Belarus). Norstedts, 2020.
ROT. Januškieviču. a., 2020.
Kniha pamyłak (The Book of Mistakes). Halijafy, 2014.
Cyrk (Circus). Źmicier Kołas, 2014.

Festival Content


⇒ Tickets 3€ | Festival Pass 19€  

The focus of this year’s VERSschmuggel/reVERSible translation project is on poetry from Belarus. In view of the current political situation it seems more apposite than ever to let the country’s poets be as loud as possible and to intensify bilateral relationships, especially on levels other than the political one.

Julia CimafiejevaÖzlem Özgül DündarJonis HartmannAndrei KhadanovichUladzimir LiankievičMaryja MartysievičAndre RudolphDaniela SeelTania SkarynkinaUlf StolterfohtDmitri StrozevUljana Wolf