Europe as a Translational Space: The Politics of Heterolinguality is a two-year project carried out by Boris Buden, Birgit Mennel and Stefan Nowotny (members of eipcp platform) from 2010 to 2012. It starts from a thorough critique of the two dominant models of linguistic policies in contemporary Europe, i.e. monolinguality and its alleged counterpart, multilinguality, both of which fail to respond to questions such as the constitution of a “common European public space” or the recomposition of European societies linked with current migration processes. In contrast, the project works with the concept of heterolingual translational processes which takes into account newly invented forms of articulation, hybrid languages, broken languages, “code mixings”, as well as various ways in which those practices are politically, socially, economically informed. Such a perspective reaches far beyond the idea of different linguistic or cultural “backgrounds”. It rather suggests Europe not only as a space in which translations occur, but as a space which in itself is to be translated.

credit Danica Dakic, ZidWall 1998 © VG
Danica Dakic, Zid/Wall 1998 ©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

After several sessions of preparation and meetings with local social and cultural actors (translators, immigrants, social workers) in 2011, several public events and internal workshops took place in September 2011, in Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers.


With support from the INHA (Institut national de l'Histoire de l'art) research program «Arts et mondialisation», Paris and from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Vienne.