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Thursday, 04 May 2017 17:01

Translation as a creative practice in contexts of crisis



Friday, 26 May 2017 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU




This one-day symposium will explore how translation is used as a creative tool in order to cope with situations of crisis.


Artists, filmmakers, writers and academics will present their work and will discuss how translation has been instrumental to their vision.




The event is free but registration is required.





This one-day event will explore how translation is used as a creative and artistic tool in order to cope with situations of crisis. The past years have witnessed extensive social and political unrest, economic turmoil and mass migration, giving rise to collective experiences of conflict and dislocation, and sometimes empowerment and emancipation, that have affected the lives of millions. These experiences are often recounted against the normative background of English as lingua franca using the dynamic of translation in various formats, such as interviews, narratives, cultural texts and visuals, video diaries and blogs. In these non-fictional texts, translation transcends its representational function, incorporating creative and politically meaningful practices of re-narration, re-enactment, self-translation, adaptation and intercultural communication, often in the form of digital and audiovisual media. Whether prompted by a need to articulate subjective experience in dominant idioms, to advocate new causes on international platforms, or to develop new media and art forms that challenge given orders of cultural transmission and exchange, translation is increasingly present in affective, pro-active and/or critical responses to situations of crisis.

This event will bring together: i) artists, filmmakers and journalists who have performed or used translation as a creative practice in their work; ii) professional and/or non-professional translators whose work relates to contexts of crisis; iii) academics who are studying creative uses of translation in socially/politically engaged contexts.


•Paul Antick (photographer and lecturer, Roehampton): 'Crisis'. From field to field

•Irene Artegiani (translator and researcher, Roehampton) and Matteo Saltalippi (filmmaker and researcher, Goldsmiths): Crisis of a translation: When Germans become Krauts

•Dimitris Asimakoulas (lecturer and researcher, Surrey): Comic heroes in Aristophanic graphic novels: Translating war and the battle of the poets

•Davide Camarrone (journalist and writer): Literatures migrate. The migration of the literary text

•Sue Clayton (filmmaker, Professor of film and television, Goldsmiths): "I am in Belgium and I am tired of God": Texts, films and translation in work with Calais unaccompanied minors

•Kumiko Kiuchi (translator and lecturer, Tokyo Institute of Technology): Ask not "do you belong to this landscape?" but "does this landscape belong to you?" Patrick Keiller's Robinson trilogy in translation

•Kevin McElvaney (photographer): #RefugeeCameras: Trying to see the individual behind the anonymous concept of a ‘refugee’?

•Alessandra Rizzo (lecturer and researcher, Palermo): "Translation as re-narration" in the visual arts: Adaptation and performance in Queens of Syria and Odisseo Arriving Alone.


Organisers: Dionysios Kapsaskis and Alessandra Rizzo, Centre for Research in Translation and Transcultural Studies, University of Roehampton; European Commission Representation in the UK.


Register for this event via Eventbrite.


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