On 1 November 2016 the CPRC hosted ‘Words on the Move: A Day of Talks and Performances across Languages’, a collaboration between the Stories in Transit project and www.watadd.com.
1. Can culture, and specifically storytelling (in any form) provide shelter for people who have lost their homes? Can a tale become a home? Can a poem? Can a memory of literature and the process of making it over and over again build ‘a country of words’ (Mahmoud Darwish)? Can narratives build a place of belonging for those without a nation?2. How do experiences of conflict and forced migration place pressure on narrative form? How might artists and writers respond or register these pressures in their creative work? What are the possibilities for creative collaboration in this context?3. What methods and processes can be developed together to allow the unfolding and generation of stories? What role can imaginary narrative and non-narrative form play in contemporary conditions? In what ways can the ancient human capacity to tell and pass on stories help in the present crisis?4. What are the best uses of contemporary media for supporting exchanges of stories across borders and to ease and/or explore communications between languages and cultures? How might we talk about and make texts that work across multiple languages (including non-verbal languages such as dance, music and visual art)?
1pm — Professor Marina Warner (Birkbeck) Introductory Remarks
1:15pm — Dr Steve Willey (Birkbeck) ‘Multi-Lingual Workshops’
1:30pm — Keynote Address, Dr Caroline Bergvall ‘Methods of Engagement’
2:30pm — Dr Camilla Nelson, ‘Performative Reflections on “Reading Movement” in Palestine’
4pm — Paula Claire, ‘Yet More War…and PEACE’ (performance inviting creative response)
5pm — Dr Atef Alshaer, (University of Westminster) ‘Individual and Collective Voices in the Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish’
5:30pm — Fuensanta Zamrana Ruiz ’The Language of Violins: Teaching at the Baremboim-Said Foundation’
6pm — Roundtable, Chair: Professor Matthew Reynolds (St Anne’s College, Oxford University)
Professor Marina Warner, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Professorial Research Fellow, SOAS, 2014-2017
Dr Steve Willey, Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Director of the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre