Laura Sbdar and Gustavo Fernández Walker

Playwriting is a body performing a translation

Culture and languages

A conversation between Laura Sbdar (National University of the Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Gustavo Fernández Walker (University of Gothenburg), invited by the research area Literary studies. All interested are welcome!

31 Aug 2022
15:00 - 17:00
J233, Humanisten, Renströmsgatan 6

Good to know
Seminar language: English
Department of Languages and Literatures

Drama genres have translation embedded into their own fabric. A text written to be carried by a body and a voice is a text that mutates, in transit, changing shape. It's a restless writing, ready to be transferred from paper to skin, from ink to voice. The dramatic text is written with the awareness of this metamorphosis. If all literary works carry their virtual translation between the lines (Benjamin), playwriting uses those blank spaces to lay out possible trajectories in order to reach body and space. Translation needs to think again how to say everything (Wittner) and, when it is of the theatrical kind, it requires to re-embody how to say and perform everything. In order to translate something into a different melody (Cohen), the dramatic text pokes holes in language (Beckett) and opens up space for the poetics of the untranslatable. This gap between languages, between forms, is precisely the space that gives birth to drama. It is a place for mistakes; for things to be said inadequately, or not be said at all (Carson); a place where we lose balance, get stripped of our self-sufficiency, and where the text, at last embodied, starts breathing for itself.
LAURA SBDAR (Buenos Aires, 1990) is a writer, theater director, professor and licentiate in arts. She is the author of the plays Ametralladora, Vigilante, Un tiro cada uno (Grupo Cabeza), El movimiento and Susana y Gloria. She is also the author of Turba (recipient of the award "Germán Rozenmacher de Nueva Dramaturgia", and published in a multilingual edition), and Las suicidas (Casa London Scholarship). She is a professor at the National University for the Arts (UNA), and she is the coordinator of the writing workshops La ficción al poder. Las criaturas (Editorial Elefante, 2020) is her first novel, and the volume Estos son los huesos (Rara Avis, 2022) is a volume including all her stage works.
GUSTAVO FERNÁNDEZ WALKER (Buenos Aires, 1979) is postdoctoral researcher at the department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg. He obtained a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires and a joint PhD in Classical Philology and Hermeneutics of the Philosophical Text at the University of San Martin (Argentina) and the Università del Salento (Italy). He worked for several media outlets in Argentina and was the editor of the Revista Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He is the author of Colón. Teatro de Operaciones (Eterna Cadencia, 2015).