February 7, 2010


(organized by the Women Oriented Women's Collective)
July 31 – August 1, 2010
Zarubyan 34, Yerevan

We start with the question: what is translation and how can it be used to queer Yerevan?

Answer #1: For me, translation is that which is constituted through a gap between the original and the copy, the utterance and the addressee, the subject and its object. And because is a crack, a gap in speech, translation always already accommodates a loss. I tell you, but you don’t hear me, I call you but you don’t reflect, I tell you and you hear me differently, I call you and you reflect differently. Translation always implies an imaginary addressee, both a subject and an object who receives the speech. How do I conceive of your objecthood when you are in me? How do I conceive of your subjectivity, which is inherently singular? How do I construct/translate my speech to reach you and to lose you at the same time? Translation always bears a mark of difference, it is a supplement in a Derridean sense, by virtue of this difference translation is a queer talk.

Answer #2: It’s a form of existence in more than one time frame, consciousness, language, body, gender, sexuality, and culture. One has to shift her mode of thinking—one has to accept nomadhood in order to participate in the processes of translation. I can never truly be(long) here or there, but always and only in between, in the interstices of (be)longing. So as a translator I cannot (do not want to and will not) preserve the state in which my language, myself, "I" happens and allow it to be affected, transmuted, "queered" by another "I."

Answer #3: . . .


  1. We cannot exist through another's perception, only our own, and we cannot- no matter how hard we try- completely perceive another as they perceive themselves- no matter the miriad boundaries and languages and redefinings within a mind. Perhaps, then, unity is found only in the breath- the before and after of expression- the inbetween spaces where we all exist candidly, for a moment. Breathe with me and truth can surface- add these brief moments together and collective realities emerge. Thank you for your beautiful writing and copious food for thought.

  2. Shushan, Thank you for the recommendation. I guess I am a typical American with a myth of a homeland living in my head- some amalgam of America, Israel, Germany, and Russia. I guess being chamellion like is a skill I can embrace. My bloodlines are a mystery and a messy one. Here is a book for you- it is better than it seems:http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=3643675

  3. thanks for the forge and the crucible, zoe, it seems very interesting --