My name is Canan Marasligil (first name pronounced Janan).
I am a freelance writer, literary translator, editor and curator based in Amsterdam. I work internationally in English, French, Turkish, Dutch and Spanish.
I am specialised in contemporary Turkish literature as well as in comics. My interest is in challenging official narratives and advocating freedom of expression through a wide range of creative projects and activities, either my own or within organisations sharing this urge. I focus on using various media to help cultural institutions and groups to tell their story.
I am committed to apply equal opportunities and diversity principles throughout my work.
Je suis Canan Marasligil (mon prénom se prononce Djanan).
Je suis auteur, traductrice littéraire, éditrice et curatrice installée à Amsterdam. Je travaille à travers différents pays en français, anglais, turc, en néerlandais et en espagnol.
Je me spécialise en littérature et BD, avec une concentration sur les littératures contemporaines de Turquie. À travers mes projets et les activités que j’organise, je tente d’explorer de nouvelles possibilités de création, de questionner les récits officiels et de défendre la liberté d’expression.
Je m'engage à respecter les principes d’égalité des chances et de diversité à travers mon travail.
I was born in Istanbul a year before the military coup of 1980. My parents moved to Belgium shortly after. I don't remember my first year in Istanbul, obviously. I am still not completely sure why my parents chose Belgium as their country of adoption.
I spoke Turkish at home, until I started to go to school at 3 years old. My mom says I learned to speak French by the Saint-Nicolas (an important celebration day in Belgium and in the Netherlands, early December). My passion for learning languages started early.
I went to school in French in Brussels, learned Dutch throughout my Belgian education. Then I went to University to study languages and literatures (English and Spanish) at ULB in Brussels, with a semester at McGill University in Montreal. I loved living in Canada, even for a short time and I hope to go back one day. I also hold an MA in American Studies from the University of Antwerp. My grandfather used to tell me once I get that golden bracelet (education!), I could do whatever I want. He was right. I wasn't always good at it but I did love my last years studying. I still learn and love it.
I worked a lot as a student, in the hotel business mainly, first in housekeeping, then as a waitress and finally as a receptionist. Those years in the HORECA sector taught me a lot about people, managing expectations and multi tasking.
My first job in the cultural sector was with BOZAR in Brussels, where I started as an intern for the Turkish festival in 2004. After the festival, they called me back to help out at the press department, where I ended up staying for 3 more years. Those were memorable times for me as I had the chance to see and learn a lot about the international art scene, music and more. And I got to see and talk to extraordinary artists and musicians.
Then I fell madly in love with a boy, whose life path took him to Amsterdam. So I followed, happily, and I live since January 2008 in Amsterdam. Here I started working with the British Council, where my knowledge of (and love for) the UK was developed. It is also at the British Council that I learned how important it is to apply Equal Opportunities and Diversity in one's work (you'd be surprised how little people think about it when organising events, even in the cultural sector).
In between all this work, I was translating and writing on my spare time, and developed my own creative projects. After those exciting years in very good organisations, I decided I was ready to go freelance in July 2011.
Since then, I am a very happy freelancer, still based in Amsterdam and working internationally in the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and the UK, and I have travelled to Algeria, Senegal, Copenhagen for a variety of projects and residencies. A lot of my work is also online and with people based across the globe.
I have worked with a wide variety of cultural organisations including the Free Word Centre - where I was a translator in residence in 2013, English PEN, British Council and South Bank Centre in London, the University of Copenhagen - where I was writer in residence in 2015, the Prince Claus Fund and the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam, MitOst in Berlin, Europalia Festival in Brussels, Istanbul Comics Festival in Turkey, and more.
I try to share my work and processes that lead me to different places professionally and personally on my blog and social media. So I hope to see you there.