The Translator as Persistent Mediator
The Out of the Wings Collective Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Translation Practice and Theory
Could it be that it is not the perceived lack of contemporary European plays in translation that is the issue, but the problematic of finding spaces for the plays that reflect the diversity and multilingualism of the audiences that surround us in our receiving culture?
In this paper we will focus on OOTW’s practice as a model for collaborative cultural translation. We will consider the narrative of an absence of translated theatre in the UK by foregrounding a politics of presence. In this model the translator acts as a persistent mediator, opening lines of communication between theatres and cultures and transcending ‘barriers’ (real or imaginary) by creating spaces for everyday acts of theatre translation to occur.
As a cross-cultural collective of translators, directors, theatre-practitioners, educationalists, playwrights and researchers, OOTW brings Spanish- and Portuguese-language plays in translation not only to English speaking audiences but also to those for whom English is not a first language and for whom every act of theatre in English is already an act of translation. Our ethos is that of 'being the change we want to see'. What we do is part of a wider process of engaging and presenting new dramatic writing and forging relationships across multiple interested sectors through collective cooperation as a part of our everyday cultural and social practice.