WRITING WORKSHOP EFFACE(...ment): Unwriting the Self.
Federica Bueti (...ment) in collaboration with Mirene Arsanios (Makhzin)
June 2017, Studio Miessen, Berlin.
The workshop focused on the formation of the “I” in writing. To preserve the unity of the first person, writing relies on genres and conventions—fiction, poetry, and the essay all inhabit a particular and relatively well defined “I”. Translation, on the other hand, unsettles the authorial “I”. It involves collaboration: the translator becomes author and the author translator. Translation is a process of transformation in which there is no equivalence. We invited participants to explore writing and selfhood through translation—literal or metaphorical. Translation as it applies to languages, but also to gender and sexuality. Writers were invited to explore the history of the “I” in their discipline or practice, and re-write (re-translate) the first person through its current social, political, and sexual entanglements.
When writing the author is never alone. In fact, the author is not an author, but a repository of voices, grammars, and syntaxes channeled through a volatile first person. Far from a coherent, cohesive, individual voice, “I” exist because “you” address me. “I” operate within a series of relationship, reciprocities, inequalities, modes of address, and the way “you” write—whether “you” is machine or human— fashions these relations. Under what circumstances does the “I” acknowledge its own formation and the relationships producing it? Who or what do I conjure up when I utter: “I”?
Participants: Amahl Khouri, Elisa Adami, Haitham El Wardani, Karoline Meunier, Marnie Slater, Sam Wilder, Uljana Wolf.