OCTOBER PSN: Lost in Translation?: Oral history across languages

October 22, 2015, 1-2:15 PM EST   

Eventbrite - PSN Video Chat: Lost in Translation?: Oral history across languages


  • Patricia Vazquez Gomez is a bilingual, bicultural community-based artist, educator and organizer who works frequently in multilingual environments. Patricia has also worked as a freelance interpreter/translator and provided trainings in language justice. 
  • Groundswell Co-Coordinator Sarah K. Loose is an oral historian and community organizer based in Portland, OR. She has conducted oral history interviews in both English and Spanish, and organized in multilingual environments. 

The notion of “language justice” recognizes that language is power. Language can be both a tool of domination and oppression as well as a powerful means for facilitating inclusive democracy and cross-community movement building and learning. Interviewing and sharing oral histories across languages presents unique opportunities and challenges. In this chat, we’ll explore participants’ experiences, questions and strategies around navigating the technical and ethical issues that arise in doing oral history in bilingual and multilingual environments. Together, we’ll consider what it might look like to bring a language justice perspective to oral history practice.

This chat will be useful to practitioners who are (or are interested in) doing oral history in a bilingual or multilingual environment. This might include individuals who have:

interviewed (or been interviewed) in a language other than their first, 
served as interpreters or translators in an interview setting, 
translated oral histories for new audiences, 
created bilingual or multilingual oral history-based exhibits or multimedia pieces. 

We hope that participants will come away with: 1. a more nuanced sense of the dynamics of oral history done in a cross-language or multilingual environment, 2. some practical ideas and strategies for doing oral history across language barriers, and 3. a sense of how the principles and practices of “language justice” might influence their oral history practice. (No familiarity with “language justice” is necessary to participate.)

Eventbrite - PSN Video Chat: Lost in Translation?: Oral history across languages