Researching Collaborative Translation in the Context of Contemporary Protest
Lecture by Mona Baker
Hong Kong Baptist University, 7-8 April 2016
The Individual and/vs the Collective: Researching Collaborative Translation in the Context of Contemporary Protest
While interest in collaborative forms of translation has grown noticeably in recent years, little has been done to examine the tension between the individual and the collective in different types of collaborative environment. Specifically, no research has yet examined collaboration in the highly fluid and unstructured context of contemporary social and political movements. Drawing on a recent study of the collaboration between subtitlers and filmmakers during the 2011-2013 Egyptian Revolution, this presentation focuses on the challenges posed by a fast-paced, fluid, non-hierarchical context of collaboration between two distinct groups (filmmakers and subtitlers) who do not interact regularly despite producing prolific output collaboratively. The discussion also explores the limits of collaboration in terms of the point at which individual film makers, vs. individual subtitlers, may wish to retain control of the fruits of their labour, and the difficulty of offering research ‘findings’ when the collective under study has no interest in maintaining a record of individual contributions to any output and no hierarchical structure that prevents any member from editing a (subtitled) video after it has been published.