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The Politic Art of Subtitling: For Sama, with the translator and storyteller Wafa' Tarnowska (Arts Weeks 2021)

Venue: Online

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Storyteller Wafa’ Tarnowska discusses translating the original footage of the multi award-winning film For Sama (2019) from Arabic to English with a panel chaired by Birkbeck’s Marina Warner.

A discussion of the multi award-winning film, For Sama (2019), Waad al-Kateab’s love letter to her daughter; an intimate and epic journey into an experience of the Syrian conflict, shot during the siege of Aleppo and first disseminated in fragments via social media. Storyteller and writer Wafa’ Tarnowska worked on translating the footage from Arabic into English, and will explore the difficulties and delicacies of the subtitling process, especially when working with sensitive and graphic footage. She will be in conversation with a member from the Action For Sama campaign (tbc), and translation scholar and writer Matthew Reynolds. Chaired by Marina Warner.

Wafa' Tarnowska is a storyteller, broadcaster, lecturer, writer and translator; her most recent publication is Amazing Women of the Middle East: 25 Stories from Ancient Times to Present Day (Pikku, 2020), a compilation of short biographies of 25 Middle Eastern women, all trailblazers in their field. Wafa’ has translated Arabic into English (and vice versa) for numerous books, plays and documentaries, including For Sama (2019), which won the Prix L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival as well as the BAFTA for Best Documentary, in 2020. 
Marina Warner (DBE) is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels, short stories and studies of art, myths, symbols and fairy tales. She recently published Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir (Harper Collins, 2021). Marina is President of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck. She is currently working on a historical study of Sanctuary in relation to the current displacement of so many, interwoven with the project she founded in 2016, Stories in Transit
Matthew Reynolds is a writer and translator. He is the founder and chair of the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre, where he oversees a rich programme of seminars, workshops, conferences and talks, as well as the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. He is the writer of Translation: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2016), amongst many other books of fiction and non-fiction. His research focuses in part on how literature germinates between and crosses languages and he is a regular collaborator in Stories in Transit
We encourage the audience to watch the film before the event. It is readily available to view for free online via All 4, for those based in the UK (and PBS, for those in the US). Clips from the film will be shared during the event.

How to join this event 
This event takes place online. You will receive an email one hour before the start of the event with a link to join. The email will come from - please check your junk/spam inbox if you have not received the email one hour before the start of the event. 
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