What We Do

Talking Transformations seeks to offer a platform to examine what ‘home’ means to us at a time when notions of ‘home’ in Europe are becoming more fluid, being challenged and reshaped by unprecedented migration. Ideas and constructions of home are intricately connected to language: the mother tongue, the foreign language and, between them, translation.

Hence Talking Transformations employs poetry and art translation to examine notions of ‘home’ in relation to migration. We look at the impact of migration on notions of home by commissioning and sending poetry about aspects of one’s own ‘home’ into a linguistic and artistic ‘migration’, where poems are translated into different languages and into film art.

Motivated by Brexit, our first project focuses on the UK and the countries most important to EU migration into and from the UK: respectively Romania & Poland and France & Spain. British poetry will be sent through linguistic and literary translation via France to Spain before returning home; in parallel, an original Polish poem will travel through translation from Poland via Romania to the UK before returning to Poland. The poems will also be translated into film art en route.

The original poems will be commissioned on the basis of public workshops held with local communities in Britain and Poland. The resulting poetry and films will be exhibited physically (in festivals, public workshops) and on this website.

Two Journeys Through Translation

Phase 1 

Community workshops in the UK with poet Deryn Rees-Jones
Deryn writes her poem
Deryn’s poem is translated into an art film by Kate McMillan
The poem and art film are translated into French
The French translations are translated into Spanish

Community workshops in Poland with a Polish poet
The Polish poet writes their poem
The poem is translated into an art film by a Polish artist
The poem and art film are translated into Romanian
The Romanian translations are translated into English

Phase 2

Community workshops in the UK  to retranslate the Spanish translations into English

Community workshops in Poland and with Polish migrants in the UK to retranslate the English translations into Polish

Phase 3

Publications of a catalogue containing the original poems and all their versions inc. still images from the art translations
A travelling exhibition of all the works.

Objectives

  • to foster cultural dialogue between native and migrant communities.
  • to offer a more positive debate on the issue of migration.
  • to promote cultural diversity and social cohesion.
  • to make people excited about languages – their native tongue as well as that of others.

Contact

TalkingTransformations is led by Manuela Perteghella and Ricarda Vidal. Ricarda is a lecturer, translator and curator and Manuela is a translation theorist, translator and curator.
You can reach Ricarda at ricardavidal@yahoo.co.uk and Manuela at m.perteghella@googlemail.com.