Translation is a central aspect in the transcultural opening of theater. Translation not only makes it possible to show a production in one or more foreign languages - at international festivals, for example - but is also capable of creating an artistic space for reflection in which transcultural phenomena such as lived multilingualism can be negotiated on stage.
With the publication EMBRACING BABEL, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, in collaboration with the translators and interpreters Maria Stummer and Lucas Franken, offers an overview for theater practitioners of the various forms of translation in and for theater in the independent scene.
In this booklet, Franken and Stummer discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of language mediation. Surtitles, live interpreting or written summaries are discussed as well as possible artistic approaches to the topic. In doing so, the publication sheds light on the requirements of successful translation in the context of theater productions within the various departments and trades, using the Ringlokschuppen Ruhr as an example.
The research for this publication also took place in close cooperation with artists and theater groups associated with Ringlokschuppen Ruhr (including kainkollektiv, KGI, vorschlag:hammer, Ma'louba, among others), who already use translation in their work, both formally and in terms of content, or who want to use it in the future.
In the joint exchange with the artists it became clear that not all participants have to speak the same language for transcultural opening in the theater to succeed. On the contrary, it is necessary to recognize the artistic potential of multilingualism and cultural diversity and to reflect on all levels of production. After all, isn't every cultural interaction already a form of translation?