Borders, Nations, Translations

The Political Limits of Cultural Trans-Nationalism

14–15 March 2008
Kunsthalle Exnergasse / WUK, 1090 Vienna

Home is where I understand and where I am understood, wrote Karl Jaspers once. If this home today is our globalized world, then its mother tongue cannot be but a translation, both linguistically and culturally. And yet, what if we want this home to have a political meaning, to be the place of freedom, justice and equality for all of us? Should we form a nation of translation and claim its sovereignty in an independent state? Who translates betrays: mother tongues, borders and, above all, the old political dreams. The betrayers of all the nations will never form a nation of their own. It is time for a new challenge. Is it possible to articulate the emerging trans-national culture of translation in non-cultural terms or, in other words, are we able to translate a trans-national cultural space into a common trans-cultural political action?


The conference will be held in English and in German (simultaneous translation).

Friday, 14 March

12.00   Opening
Therese Kaufmann, Boris Buden

12.30 - 15.30   Panel 1
Moderation: Boris Buden

Rada Iveković
Translating Borders

Stefan Nowotny
The Multiple Faces of the “Civis”, or: Is Citizenship Translateable?

Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodriguez
Translating Transcultural and Dekolonising of Knowledge
15.30–16.00   Break

16.00–19.00   Panel 2
Moderation: Stefan Nowotny

Tom Waibel
Privateers in the Sea of Signs. Biopiracy and Politics of Translation

Hito Steyerl
Travelling Images

Klaus Neundlinger

Simultaneous – New Paradigms of Productivity
Will the Form of Space Replace the Form of Wage Labour?

Saturday, 15 March

12.00–15.00   Panel 3
Moderation: Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodriguez

Michaela Wolf
Nation of Translation – Nation as Translation:
Charting Perspectives of Trans-cultural Political Action

Sandro Mezzadra
The Labor of Translation
Imagining the Politics of Translation Beyond Communication and Articulation

Boris Buden
Faithful to Whom: Fidelity of Translation as Political Question

15.00–15.30   Break

15.30–19.30   Panel 4
Moderation: Hito Steyerl

Jon Solomon
Rethinking the Meaning of Regions: Translation and Catastrophe

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Varieties of Transculture


DJ-Team: first fatal kiss

Childcare will be provided – please let us know until 8th March (

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