Translating the Neighbourhood

On 2 and 3 November, the online multi-disciplinary event Translating the Neighbourhood discusses urban spaces, which ‘have always been places of translation, where encounters between languages and cultures have given birth to both conflict and exchange.’ Organised by Andrea Ciribuco, Anne O’Connor (NUI Galway), it brings scholars in translation studies (and outcasts like myself) together with artists and poets. Keynote speakers Prof. Loredana Polezzi (Stony Brook University) and Prof. Sherry Simon (Concordia University) discussed in an informal manner their latest findings in the field, and thus far, it has been nothing short of inspiring.

More on the project:

I will be presenting my project on somalo-italianità in the UK and the Netherlands; The video of the paper can be found here.

Painting presented at Golol Gallery, mentioned in the documentary part of this project.

Below, the official description of the conference, and the conference scheme.

“Urban spaces have always been places of translation, where encounters between languages and cultures have given birth to both conflict and exchange. In the last few decades, increasingly diverse urban environments have emerged, making coexistence between different communities a key contemporary issue. As a multi-disciplinary event, this conference explores urban spaces (cities and towns) as areas of translation, of dialogue and silence, communication and interaction.

This conference deals with translation in society and beyond the text: translation as the managing of difference, a tool for inclusion or exclusion within the context of the contemporary urban space. As a multi-disciplinary, multi-media event, the conference intends to explore the different instances where people perform translation on the social stage in response to the many challenges and stimuli of 21st century globalization. Some of these translations are performed by professionals, some by non- professionals; some are intended to impact policy or contribute to a public debate, while others may last the short space of an oral exchange.”

10:00-10.30  Opening Remarks
10.30-12:00Panel 1: Bringing literary translation into the city  

Martina Ožbot (Univerza v Ljubljani, Slovenia): “The paradox of translation in multilingual and multicultural Trieste”
María Laura Escobar (independent scholar): “Hijacking slam poetry: enter the translator”
Jennifer Arnold (University College Cork, Ireland): “Reading Across cultures: The Role of Translated Literature in Multicultural and Multilingual communities”  
12:00 -1.30Panel 2: Translation and the visual

Eliana Maestri (University of Exeter, UK): “Translating urban landscape into the visual”
Joanna Sobesto (Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Poland): “The art of giving the voice. Areas of translation in The Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków.”
Luc van Doorslaer (Tartu Ülikool, Estonia) & Irmak Ugur (KU Leuven, Belgium): “The Multilayered Neighbor: Museum translation in a Turkish-Syrian border town”  
1:30 – 3:00Lunch break Networking virtual rooms available for panelists  
3:00 – 4:30Panel 3: Translation and community-building

Rachel E. Love (New York University, USA): “Singing the Roman Neighbourhood: The Multicultural Music and Political Protest of the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio and Roma Forestiera Project”
Peter Flynn (KU Leuven, Belgium): “Translating in the Neighbourhood: the case of an Irish pub in Ghent”
Ann De Leon & Sathya Rao (University of Alberta, Canada): “A Tale of Two Cities: Comparing Translation Policies and Practices in Toronto and Edmonton”  
4:30 – 6:30Keynote: “The place of translation in the neighbourhood: Loredana Polezzi and Sherry Simon in conversation” Followed by Q&A

November 3

(please note that all times are indicated at Irish time, UTC+0)

9:30 – 11:00Panel 4: Translation from the ground up

– Wine Tesseur (Dublin City University, Ireland): “Translation as empowerment: international NGOs as global and urban translating organisations”
– Egshig Shagdarsuren (Монгол Улсын Их Сургууль, Mongolia): “Translation impact on native languages: the trade pidgin of Mongols”
– María Aguilar Solano (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain): “A popular education approach to interpreting training: building a community of interpreters from the ground up”  
11:00 – 1:00Panel 5: Translation, migration, empowerment  

– Paola Brusasco (Università degli studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti – Pescara, Italy): “Translation as a doorway to integration: the LAPISS project in Italy”
– Karen Bennett (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal): “Social responsibility in the translation of the migration crisis”
– Lorena Pérez Macías (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain) & Francisco Vigier-Moreno (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain): “The use of postediting in context of asylum: a practical case study in collaboration with asylum organisations in Seville (Spain)”
Linde Luijnenburg (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands): “Signs of Somalo-Italianità: Italianità as a discourse in Somali diasporic communities in the U.K. and the N.L.”   
1:00 -2:00Lunch break
2:00 – 2:30Tangible translation: Migrants and refugees at the interface of translation and materiality: a call for papers (Q&A)
3:00 – 4:00Artist workshop 1:
Felispeaks: “The Corners of Our Image”

This will be an interactive workshop with Spoken Word Performance artist, Felispeaks. This workshop will consist of translating our ideas and impressions of Black people and bodies in different settings and situations – using images and pictures as an aid. We will discuss using poetry and word games how we arrive at our conclusions by connecting our thoughts to the presented image; furthermore, Felispeaks will perform a poem to go with each image after each section of conversation.
‘The Corners of Our Image’ promises to give a range of perspective about what we know of an identity, what we have learned of said identity, how we arrive at our conclusions and finally the reality of that identity from one lens through poetry!
4:30 -5:30Artist workshop 2:

Brú Theatre  

This artist led workshop will explore some of Brú Theatre’s Irish language work, looking at how they make it accessible to non Irish speaking audiences. There will be particular emphasis on two pieces; their most recent piece Ar Ais Arís in which Irish language literature meets visual poetry in Virtual Reality and Cleite, a site specific theatre piece merging Sean nós singing, Basel mask and west of Ireland superstitions. .
The workshop will be given by James Riordan, Brú’s Artistic Director. Brú Theatre are based in Galway and make work in both Irish and English. They tour nationally and have multiple Irish Times Theatre Award nominations for their work. See more at
5:30 -6:00Concluding remarks – presentation of the new Emily Anderson Centre for Translation Research and Practice at NUI Galway (

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