From Image to Text
Workshop led by Ricarda Vidal and Steven J Fowler
24th June 2014, part of the TCCE annual conference.
Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Milton Court, London EC2Y 9BH
This workshop built on ‘p.o.w. – translating concrete poetry‘ of 5th March at the Poetry Library.
We began with a short presentation of the Translation Games project and its outputs, i.e. translations from flash fiction to film, from film to ceramics or choreography, from concrete poetry to scent etc. We then discussed the fine line between translation, interpretation, illustration, response and adaptation. What does translation mean within different contexts and how can we define language beyond the linguistic realm? Where does translation begin? Where does it end? And when does it cease to be translation and become something else? Is there an ‘essence’ of the original, which can be grasped and rendered?
Needless to say that we did not find a single answer to any of these questions, but, between us, we arrived at a definition of translation which could be applied to both the linguistic and the artistic realm. And we immediately tried it out in practice: For the remainder of the workshop (sadly only 20 minutes!), we challenged participants to translate Anna Cady’s filmic translation of Paul Brown’s concrete poem ‘cold’ back into text. While time constraints meant that participants had to limit themselves to drafts rather than finished works, we were still amazed how close these drafts came in recreating the atmosphere (the essence?) of Paul Brown’s original poem – compliments are due to Anna Cady for her very accomplished translation of the poem into film!
Paul Brown’s poem ‘cold’ (click image to enlarge):
Anna Cady’s translation of ‘cold’ into film:
Drafts for the retranslation into poetry created by workshop participants: