Creative Arts and Translating Cultures

The consultant partner, Pan African Arts Scotland (PAAS), will collaborate with Alison Phipps, RA Katja Frimberger, the RMTC Hub and case study investigators in all phases of the project to translate the case study data, participant/researcher narratives and life histories from the medium of academic understanding and representation into that of multilingual performance and creative arts. The CATC ‘hub’ will produce creative synthesis and a constant dynamic of translation between languages, place and media throughout the project.

This will be achieved by

  1. Translation of research data, concepts and findings from academic form into live performance, through the creation of a playtext by the project playwright, Tawona Sithole, based on data from all the project components, which will be rehearsed, produced and performed in Scotland, Ghana, and other countries in which research will be conducted;
  2. Community drama and rehearsals in each of the case study sites where forum theatre workshops will allow for the exposure of otherwise silent dynamics of language, power, narrative and pain relevant to participants in each context and the RMTC ‘hub’;
  3. Capacity building and training across the project and its different contexts in using performance to represent specific translation and interpretation processes and practices (and issues such as silence and ‘the untranslatable’) through other media.

The selection of Ghana as the second main site for the performance of the playtext (the first being Scotland) is not arbitrary. It is a country enjoying relative stability and development today, but also one engaged in ongoing recovery from the historical trauma associated with the slave trade. Performance of the playtext there will extend the project by facilitating a movement from contexts often marked by trauma (the case studies) to one where recovery is underway, and bringing the research findings, experiences and narratives to a country (not represented elsewhere in the project) with a strong performing tradition. The work of the CATC ‘hub’ will contribute not only to the integration of the project data, but also to the identification of new research questions (about translation, interpretation and representation) emerging out of the findings, and thus to the long-term sustainability and legacy of the project as a whole.

As part of the process of working towards the final CATC Hub performance (Summer 2016), being created and written by our poet / playwright Tawona Sitholé, the Hub will be working with Ignite Youth Theatre in a script development week, during February 2016.  Tawona is also a former Board member of Ignite, and currently working as a Cultural Advisor for the Youth Company and very excited to be working with a company that is more than just theatre, but integration and a platform to discover inner creativity.

To see a short film about Ignite Youth Theater made by the BBC visit:

The core CATC researchers are RA Katja Frimberger, Gameli Tordzro (PAAS & PhD student at Glasgow), Tawona Sithole (Playwright, Seeds of Thought) and Cecilia Tordzro (PAAS).