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Letter to a Clone Manufacturer

BY GIGI GUIZADO.

Link to the event: click here.

The event on the 25th September 2021 was part of the official selection of the International Translation Day by the English PEN and the National Centre for Writing.

This is a short and semantically multi-layered play which tackles gender and power-issues in a situation set on the verge of the post Anthropocene world. In spite of the grim topic, the irony and the possible plot-twists will save us from immersing ourselves into dystopia.

The intrinsic complexity of the piece does not stop at simply tackling the stereotypes of our societies, but also mischievously plays with the possibilities of swapping roles, until the very end. The last couple of seconds are left open to the readers’/spectators’ interpretation as well.

We found it especially intriguing to have the piece translated from English into Hungarian and see how different cultures, languages, conceptions, ages, genders will affect this endless game of fascinatingly diverse interpretations.

Just a couple of questions that occurred during the English and Hungarian rehearsed readings and open discussions at the event:

  • What circumstances lead to de-humanisation?
  • How objectification reflects back on the perpetrator?
  • How our intelligence and emotional intelligence is shaped by our circumstances?
  • How AI might translate, interpret and react to our languages and feelings?
  • Will the present status quo be challenged at a certain point in the future? How? By whom?

For a full-rounded cultural and linguistic experience, we kindly advise you to watch both the Hungarian and English versions, and taste the exquisite palette of the re-framing and interpretation of the artists.

We are all looking forward to reserching further approaches, re-readings, interpretations, translations and designs of this piece.

Cast performing in English:

Daniela Cristo Mantilla and Angel Mendoza

Cast performing in Hungarian:

Éva Bandor and Ádám Tompa

Translation by: Rita Sebestyén.

Carta a un Fabricante de Clones

Following the positive responses of our International Translation Day event, also the manifold possible interpretations of the text, we managed to arrange a second event, where further gender, age, culture and language-related nuances came to the forefront.

This time we discussed how non-binary cast might affect the language and the socio-cultural representation and interpretation of the same text.

Spanish is a gendered language – along with many other Romance Languages -, where substantives and pronouns have defined binary expressions for centuries. As opposed to the English gender-neutral pronoun ‘they’, which is already existent in the language, in Spanish the ending X, with its different pronunciations, are new addenda to the common language and its use requires constant attention from the part of the speaker or writer.

We also observed how changing certain aspects and angles of the interpretation, such as cultural background, language, gender, age will always lead to certain dichotomies and power-unbalances. However, approaching the text, the situation and the characters from a more generic, non-hierarchal and de-colonial point of view, we see how any kind of othering leads to a new power-struggle, leading to a multiplication of the colonial structure. A new, all-encompassing socio-cultural structure would be needed to reframe these dichotomies into eye-level dialogues.

Cast performing in Spanish:

Adriana Chavez (she/her/they/them) and Cinthia Lilen (they/she)


Translation by: Gigi Guizado.