our words make worlds


Introduction Events Conferences

Our first event took place in 2018 and  we decided to focus on the work of translators in London, motivated by a desire to interact with practitioners working across a range of languages in a range of situations in London today. The importance of the work of professional translators and interpreters became even more urgent in the aftermath of the crisis of the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017. You can read more about some of the ideas and motivations behind the project here:

Workshop for Translators and Interpreters - 11th and 12th May 2018

In 2018 Translation Acts and Language Transitions researchers worked with director and therapist, Sophie Besse, from theatre company PsycheDelight and photographer, José Farinha photography, to offer a two day workshop for translators and interpreters. The workshop focussed on a range of activities based on creative, dramatic and artistic practice.

In the workshop we explored a range of themes which emerged from the participants experiences, such as:

  • The difficulties and tensions arising from the lack of recognition and support for the professional work and status of interpreters.
  • The challenges faced by community interpreters who work with individuals living in their local communities and the issues affecting them.
  • The difficulties of dealing with the aftermath of translating in situations involving vulnerable people, cases of exploitation and recurring situations of crisis.

In the workshop we did a range of activities using drama and photography techniques to explore the role of the interpreter, for example:

  •  Sharing an object that interpreters use in their working life and exploring its significance to them.
  •  Playing games to explore how we listen to and react to others and then convert this to action.
  •  Creating freeze frames to depict aspects of the experience of working as an interpreter.

The activities facilitated individual and collective reflection on the different motivations for undertaking this type of work, the challenges and opportunities for the interpreter and the complexities of constantly moving between two languages. They also led to the creation of a photobook so that interpreters could continue to reflect on the experience.

This workshop was supported by funding from the Collaborate and Engage scheme run by the Science Gallery, London & King's College London.

You can read the invitation to participate here