CTIS Research Seminar: Bringing the Message to LGBT Youth around the World? Online Activism, Translation, Cultural Work
|Starts:||14:00 18 Feb 2016|
|Ends:||15:30 18 Feb 2016|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public, University staff|
In this talk, I reframe debates on the global emergence of LGBTQ+ movements as questions about translation. I return to theorisations of power within Translation Studies to push against the idea that a translation reflects “the vicissitudes of the exercise of power in a society” (Bassnett and Lefevere 1990), to instead consider translation practices as constitutive of power. I focus on the Italian version of the online “It Gets Better” campaign, which was initially devised in response to a spate of LGBT teen suicides in the United States. As I will argue, the localised narratives that survivors of homophobic bullying construct are instances of interlingual mediation entrenched in transnational processes of identity formation.
To analyse the localised campaign, I draw on socio-narrative theory as a method to read instances of interlingual and intercultural transfer. The IGB website explains that “the Project is developing resources and effecting change in ways that are tailored to local language, culture and need.” What this framing conceals is that the tailoring of an English-language, U.S.-based project for non-Anglophone audiences entails a process of translation. I therefore consider the users that upload their personal stories in Italian at once as narrators and translators.
I will analyse the localised narratives vis-a-vis the US campaign, to consider how contemporary articulations of queer selfhood are constructed resulting from acts of translation. In the US version, the stories follow a particular master-plot. Determined to “make it better,” an adult LGBT individual overcomes the hardships of their teenage years and lives a happy “out” adult life. I argue that the progressive temporality encouraged by the campaign format is displaced and rearranged in the localised version, often disavowing the message of the original campaign.
Organisation: Cardiff University
Travel and Contact Information
Samuel Alexander Building