Translation as Movement: Migration and Notions of “Home”
Talking Transformations. Home on the Move
A project of poetry, translation, sound and film art with a programme of associated of exhibitions and events. Devised and curated by Manuela Perteghella & Ricarda Vidal
Talking Transformations. Home on the Move explores what ‘home’ means to us at a time when notions of ‘home’ in Europe are becoming more fluid, changed and challenged by unprecedented migration. Ideas and constructions of home are intimately 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. On the one hand, EU citizens are taking advantage of freedom of movement choosing their place of study, work or retirement across the Union and on the other, economic migrants, refugees, exiles and other displaced communities from outside the EU are arriving in large numbers. This confluence of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in European societies reframes traditional ideas of organic ‘nationhood’, identity and culture, and naturally ideas of ‘home’.
In Laffiché’s film the ambivalence of here-ness and there-ness is likewise reflected in the juxtaposition of images, a boat disappearing on the distant horizon, a fishing net drifting towards the shore, the sea journey and the car journey, speed and the suspension of time, the boredom of waiting, the figure of the “migrant” (always wandering), but also the sense of displacement/dislocation. Rees-Jones’ “words call us back, they call us on” appears in the shape of African music on the car radio, and an Arabic song on a mobile phone. The final image is of a man waiting—suspended between departure and arrival, between the old and the new (home).