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Translating African Plays: Ethics, ‘Foreignisation’ and Collaboration

Laera, Margherita (2011) Translating African Plays: Ethics, ‘Foreignisation’ and Collaboration. Practics as Research Portfolio. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:40785)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


Project description. The portfolio consists of three translations by Margherita Laera, from French and English into Italian, of contemporary African plays by Bola Agbaje (UK/Nigeria), Mohamed Kacimi (France/Algeria) and Athol Fugard (South Africa). These were performed in three consecutive editions of the Tramedautore Festival at Milan’s Piccolo Teatro (2009 to 2011), which focused on African theatre. The aim of this project was to promote contemporary African playwrights, whose work is rarely ever performed on European stages, thus confronting Italian audiences with different worldviews and imaginaries. The project investigated the ethical dimension and nuances of interlingual translation for the stage, encouraging debate and raising awareness among theatre-makers and audiences around the processes and ethics of theatre translation. It did so by adopting a permeable model of authorship, fostering collaboration during rehearsals, and by testing Lawrence Venuti’s arguments on literary translation in a performance context (Venuti, The Translator’s Invisibility, 1995; and The Scandals of Translation, 1998). Research imperatives. - To promote translation for the stage as an ethical imperative. - To increase the visibility of under-represented post-colonial writers. - To facilitate debate between the different parties involved in translation for the stage, by discussing working drafts during rehearsals. - To explore the possibilities of ‘foreignising’ strategies (Venuti, 1995 and 1998), i.e. translational practices that seek to minimise the ‘domesticating’ effects of translation. Process. First drafts of performed translations have been put to the test on the stage and reworked, where possible, during rehearsals, or in collaboration with directors. Initially, the author sought to include both idiomatic and non-idiomatic expressions to shift the boundaries of the standard target dialect and thus welcome cultural difference. These initial ‘foreignising’ drafts have then been renegotiated in a workshop environment. Gradually, the author’s drafts were modified in collaboration with theatre-makers and became multiple-authored translations, increasing the ‘domesticating’ effect to achieve performability.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: N Visual Arts
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Stewart Brownrigg
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 00:05 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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