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.

For Talking Transformations we commission and send 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 is sent through literary translation via France to Spain before returning home; in parallel, an original Polish poem travels through translation from Poland via Romania to the UK before returning to Poland. The poems are also translated into film art en route.

The original poems have been 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.
The poem and art film are translated into French and back into English
The French translations are translated into Spanish and then back into English

Community workshops in Poland with a poet Rafał Gawin
Rafał writes his poem
The poem is translated into an art film and into English.
The Polish poem and art film are translated into Romanian
The Romanian translations are translated into English and then back into Polish

Phase 2

Community workshops in the UK  to retranslate the different translations into English and other languages

Community workshops with Polish migrants in the UK to translate the English translations into Polish

Phase 3

Publication 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.