Building Bridges: Translating Refugee Narratives for Public Audiences with Arts-based Media

The article Building Bridges: Translating Refugee Narratives for Public Audiences with Arts-based Media, written by MPhil Music alumna Rose Campion (Hertford College 2018) and Professor Samantha Sebastian Dieckmann has been published open-access in the Journal for Intercultural Studies.

The authors write: "This article presents ethnographic research from Journey: Bridging Cultures, a project that worked with school-aged youths with forced migration backgrounds at the Oxford Spires Academy. We use theories of translation to examine how narratives of forced migration are presented to public audiences. 

Translation goes beyond just language. Good story-telling translates an entire experience for audiences. It should evoke the sights, sounds, people, and emotions of a moment. Multimedia artworks, therefore, are well-suited for this task.

But to convey a complex and political story – like one of forced migration – the process of crafting this translation can be difficult and emotionally-charged. It is especially challenging when there are lots of people involved who have different interests.

This article maps out how such a translation process works. Through this, we highlight the possibilities and limitations for marginalised populations to shape how their narratives are translated."

To read the full article please visit Taylor and Frances Online. This research was conducted as part of the Journey: Bridging Cultures project, led by Dr Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey and Dr Toby Young. It was supported by the TORCH Humanities Cultural Fund.

Image: screenshot from the video of Many Worlds in One Place, recorded in July 2021.