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Studio Sessions: Translation as Social Relation

In this session, we propose to address a question raised by Naoki Sakaï: What kind of social relation is translation in the first place?

In this session, we propose to address a question raised by Naoki Sakaï: What kind of social relation is translation in the first place? 
Our premise is that translation, rather than a simple communicational exchange between two agents, needs to be analysed in connection with the historical and social specificity of the relations it enacts. The quality and orientation of a translation can indeed be held as an indicator of the broader socio-political dynamics that divide and stratify society. This requires us to rethink what, exactly, is invested and enacted in translation. What is it that ‘takes place’ in the translational act? Reciprocally, we wish to ask, what does this non-communicational notion of translation bring to our current conceptions of social relations?


Lucie Mercier (PhD student, Kingston University)

Stefan Nowotny (Lecturer, Goldsmiths University)


Svenja Bromberg (PhD student, Goldsmiths University)

Led by staff and students in Art, Design, Architecture and Philosophy at Kingston University, Studio Sessions will engage a broad audience in discussion and debate about the future of these disciplines, and how they are increasingly important as ways of thinking about the world. As the venue for these sessions, the ICA Studio encourages debate and conviviality.

Studio Sessions are staged as part of the affiliation between the ICA and Kingston University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, and the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy.

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For more on this series, visit


Part of:

Studio Sessions


Lucie Mercier | talks | www
Dr Stefan Nowotny | talks | www
Svenja Bromberg | talks | www


Date and Time:

24 April 2014 at 6:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



12 Carlton House Terrace
020 7930 3647

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