Cultural Migration workshop

13-14 May 2010, Dublin, Ireland

When people migrate what do they produce in textual and cultural terms? The diversity of languages and cultures in motion is central to contemporary European experience. Such diversity is represented in a variety of forms (film, poetry, fiction, memoir, theatre, multimedia, etc) that challenge existing concepts of genre, audience and cultural production but may also face significant obstacles in achieving production, publication and dissemination. Emergent varieties of linguistic style and cultural expression may be dismissed as inaccurate or incomplete, praised as new or exotic, and/or absorbed into standardised and normalised forms. Yet the acts of self-translation by migrants into or alongside their host societies, together with the continuing traces of originary cultures, bring artistic and linguistic consequences that connect diverse communities as cultural producers and consumers. This workshop explored the textual, cultural and policy implications and significance of migration and migrants within European cities, regions and countries.

The strategic imperatives to be discussed and advanced by the workshop included the following:

  • What are the obstacles facing migrants’ access to cultural production?

  • What is the significance of translation as a mediating force, both historically and in the contemporary scene?

  • What is the current status of non-mother tongue writing and of cultural production by second-generation migrants?

  • What resources (educational, legal, etc) are needed to support the range of cultural production by bilinguals and multilinguals?

  • Are new policies required to support cultural translation and adaptation beyond nationally-defined policies e.g. film subtitling in diverse languages?