Opening workshop
Translate – Is Culture Translatable?


Hahnengasse 3, A - 4020 Linz

The Promise of Translation

No other concept of cultural theory has received recently as much attention as the notion of cultural translation. The time has come to ask why. But the answer to this question shouldn’t be searched for in the concept itself. The power of its promise is rather in the need of which it is supposed to be the fulfillment: the need to break the deadlock of identitarian differences and the politics based on them. This includes the concept of the nation state in its most advanced form, that is, the liberal democracies of the “developed world”. The promise of the cultural translation is an effect of this crisis. Even if it cannot offer the final solution, it is at least the proof that the solution we already have is by no means the final.


28.3.2006, 11.00–18.00

11.00–12.30  Introduction: The Promise of Translation
                      Boris Buden

12.30–13.00  coffe break

13.00–14.30  Translating Democracy
                      Dieter Lesage

14.30–16.00  lunch break with buffet

16.00–17.30  Translating Desire – On Transgression, Queer Subjectivities and Diasporic Yearnings
                      Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodrígue

17.30–18.00  Open discussion

Moderation: Simon Sheikh and Therese Kaufmann

20.00  (Kunstraum Goethestrasse, Goethestr. 22, 4020 Linz)
"Rien ne vaut que la vie, mais la vie même ne vaut rien“
Nichts ist wie das Leben, aber das Leben selbst ist nichts

Film screening and discussion with Brigitta Kuster and Mabouna II Moise Merlin.
Moderation: Stefan Nowotny

The film "Rien ne vaut que la vie ..." was shot largely in a refugee home for asylum-seekers in Zerbst, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It concentrates on stories of the circumstances of life; all those involved are actors in their own film. The film plot is repeatedly linked with reflections on how one becomes a refugee: through experiences in the homes, through following the rules for behavior, through staying there long enough for it to change the way you think. The same applies to the other side of experiencing the film: becoming a filmmaker in the course of its production.

Starting from the film, the discussion will focus on the conditions of political articulation against the background of concrete experiences of migration and experiences with refusals of social exchange and translation.

organised in cooperation with maiz and Kunstraum Goethestraße

29.3.2006, 12.00–19.00

12.00–13.30  The Idea of Culture and the Stakes of Translation
                      Stefan Nowotny

13.30–15.00  lunch break with buffet

15.00–16.30  The language of things
                      Hito Steyerl

16.30-17.00  coffee break

17.00–18.30  film presentation and discussion
                      "Artikel 7 - Unser  Recht! Pravica naša! Člen 7" by Thomas Korschil and Eva Simmler
                      Thomas Korschil

18.30–19.00  discussion

Moderation: Simon Sheikh and Therese Kaufmann

Thursday, 30.03.2006, 19.00

Politik der kulturellen Übersetzung
Depot, Breitegasse 3, 1070 Vienna

Du bist hybrid. Ich bin hybrid. Wieso haben wir dann verschiedene Identitäten? Und schlagen uns deshalb sogar gegenseitig die Köpfe ein? Der Begriff der (kulturellen) Übersetzung, der uns diese Fragen stellt, verspricht auch, sie zu beantworten. Kann er das? Betrachtet man die glänzende Karriere, die dieser ursprünglich bescheidene Begriff der linguistischen Praxis in den letzten Jahren in der internationalen Theorie-Szene gemacht hat, gibt es keinen Grund, daran zu zweifeln. Doch nicht einmal der politischen Realität ist es gelungen, auch die erfolgreichsten Theorien zu überlisten. Wird der Begriff der Übersetzung dem gleichen Schicksal anheim fallen oder kann er sich auch im reality check behaupten? Mit Wort-, Film- und Bildmaterial diskutieren darueber:

Rastko Mocnik, Philosoph, Ljubljana
Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Kulturwissenschaftlerin, Manchester
Dieter Lesage, Philosoph, Brüssel
Moderation: Boris Buden, Philosoph, Berlin