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September 2020

Very happy to have been invited to speak about my own work and Lone Women project at the Languages of Landscape symposium on September 17th 

The Languages of Landscape
17 September 2020, 2.00pm - 5.30pm
Institute of Modern Languages Research
Conference / Symposium
Online event

How do we translate the natural world around us? What acts of interpretation are involved in talking about landscapes as we move between different languages, places and media? 

This interdisciplinary virtual conference brings together writers, artists and researchers to discuss some of the ways in which our experiences of landscapes are shaped by the way we translate them (using different languages and dialects, through our own relationship with place, through folklore, through the visual arts). 

Speakers Clare Archibald, Elizabeth Dearnley, Jessica J. Lee, Zakiya Mckenzie, Adam Scovell and Lucy Wright will explore a series of real and imagined landscapes, ranging from the cloud forests of Taiwan and the shifting landscapes of Orford Ness to the tangled fantasies of illustrator Arthur Rackham. 

Join us over Zoom for an afternoon of talks and discussion about forests, language, code-switching, film-making, fairy tales, folk art, ecology and more. 

All are welcome to attend this free event – book to gain access to the Zoom link. 

Programme (full abstracts and bios here)

Session 1: Languages of the Forest

Jessica J. Lee   
A Flora Translated  

British-Canadian-Taiwanese author and environmental historian Jessica J. Lee draws on her new book Two Trees Make a Forest to discuss the ways knowledge of place and nonhuman nature is exchanged across generations and languages, looking at the landscape and flora of Taiwan.   

Clare Archibald    
Unrooting of Imagined? – Lone Women in the Woods  

Scottish writer and artist Claire Archibald, founder of the collaborative global project Lone Women in Flashes of Wilderness, explores the intersections of real and imagined, urban and rural, and the translation of the ways in which women move through forest and other spaces.    

Zakiya Mckenzie     
Jamaica, Guyana and the Forest of Dean - The Common Language of the Land 

Bristol-based writer and researcher Zakiya Mckenzie, 2019 Writer in Residence for Forestry England, explores translingual identities, familiarity and foreignness through her own experiences of nationhood (‘Caribbeaness’ and ‘Britishness’) and cultural memory within the context of her work in the Forest of Dean.

3:30pm-4pm: BREAK 

Session 2: Visual Languages: Film, Fairy Tales and Folk Art

Adam Scovell      
Grain Upon Grain – Recreating Orford Ness    

London-based writer and filmmaker Adam Scovell discusses his film adaptation of Ness, an experimental prose poem by Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood, reflecting on the complexities and challenges in adapting a constantly shifting work about a landscape that is equally in flux.      

Elizabeth Dearnley      
Red Hoods and Silver Birches: Visualising the Fairy Tale Forest     

London-based researcher and artist Elizabeth Dearnley investigates the visual language of forests, looking at artists and filmmakers from medieval illuminators and Arthur Rackham to Walt Disney and Dario Argento to explore intersections between fairy tale iconography and the way we see real-life forests.     

Lucy Wright      
Planting New Traditions: Arts Practice as Action Research between Folk Art and Ecology     

Artist and researcher Lucy Wright – currently based at the University of Leeds – reflects on two ongoing artistic projects which combine her practice as a social artist, her academic background as a folklorist and ethnographer, and her interest in the parallels between plant and human populations: ‘Chasing the Harestail’ (for Jersey Heritage) and ‘Out of the Ashes’ (Malham Tarn National Trust).   

Organised by the Institute of Modern Languages Research. It is part of the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, Translingual Strand.


Elizabeth Dearnley
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