Monday June 21, 2021

Foreign Translator award goes to Kinnunen

Published : 25 May 2021, 23:37

  DF Report

Kirsi Kinnunen. Photo: Aude Debeaurain.

Kirsi Kinnunen, a translator of Finnish graphic novels and other works into French, has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Finnish State Award for Foreign Translators, said the Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release on Tuesday.

The award includes a cash prize of €15,000. Kinnunen received her award on Tuesday from Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko.

Originally from Finland, Kirsi Kinnunen has lived in France for more than two decades. She has been a driving force in raising the profile of contemporary Finnish graphic novels and comics in France, a nation known for its strong graphic novel tradition.

A total of 33 French graphic novel publishers have published at least one Finnish title in French translation. The vast majority of those projects have had some input from Kirsi Kinnunen.

Kinnunen’s translations of works by Aapo Rapi, Ville Ranna, Marko Turunen and Petteri Tikkanen have competed for awards in official competitions at the Angoulême Comics Festival over the years.

Earlier this year her translation of Tiitu Takalo’s graphic novel Minä, Mikko ja Annikki (“Mikko, Annikki and Me” or “Moi, Mikko et Annikki” in French) was awarded the Grand Prix Artémisia, given each year to the best work by a female artist.

“Finnish graphic novels are among the world’s most original works in their genre, and their illustrations are some of the most irreverent. For more than 20 years I have been actively involved in exporting Finnish graphic novels to France as a translator, comics consultant, agent and promoter and it’s been one of the most enjoyable, rewarding adventures not just of my career but of my entire life,” Kirsi Kinnunen said.

Kirsi Kinnunen was born in Rovaniemi in northern Finland in 1960.

Each year, Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture awards the State Award for Foreign Translators to a deserving translator of Finnish literature on the advice of FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange. The award was first given in 1975.