Babel is the literary festival focused on translation. Understood as linguistic hospitality, translation is the practice that prompts you to go towards the other, in order to invite the other to your own home, and serves as a model for other kinds of hospitality. Babel invites writers who work across languages and cultures, and their Italian translators; the festival promotes translations between different art forms, organizes translation workshops, prizes, and residences, and publishes new work.
Past editions have featured world-famous authors such as Derek Walcott, Adam Zagajewski, Marie NDiaye, Amitav Ghosh, Jamaica Kincaid, Jean Echenoz, Werner Herzog, Elias Khury, Adania Shibli, Ludmila Ulickaja, Georgi Gospodinov, Ismail Kadaré, Jakuta Alikavazovic, Juan Villoro, Guillermo Arriaga, Valeria Luiselli, Patrick Chamoiseau, Yu Hua, Kamel Daoud, Ha Jin, Samanta Schweblin, Frédéric Pajak; musicians such as The Tiger Lillies, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, András Keller, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi; as well as several young writers that Babel has translated and published with Swiss and Italian publishers and media.
In 2012 Babel was awarded the Straniero Prize in Italy, and in 2013 the Swiss Literature Prize for translation and literary mediation and the Special Prize of the Jury by the Federal office for culture.