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 writers such as Derek Walcott, Marie NDiaye, Ismail Kadaré, Amitav Ghosh, Patrick Chamoiseau, Jamaica Kincaid, Mourid Barghouthi, Valeria Luiselli, Irvine Welsh, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Asli Erdogan, Ljudmila Ulickaja, Elias Khoury, Yu Hua, Adam Zagajewski, Adania Shibli, Samanta Schweblin, Abdelfattah Kilito, musicians such as Arto Lindsay, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Tartit, The Tiger Lillies, and András Keller, 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.