220 - Downtown Halifax
Community Group

Translational Narrative

Translational Narratives is an interactive multi-representational Installation of immigrant stories, inviting the public inside to walk, imagine, and draw the narratives they inhabit.

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My father speaks of his garden as a reflection of his childhood. Beds of fruit, vegetables, & shrubs sit on terraces dug into the small hill of his backyard. He is fond of the mess; its logic derivative of the patterns his father planted fruit trees in throughout the forest in Colombia they cultivated. We take a pilgrimage through it every Sunday:
“Hijo, come look at the raspberries.”

Ritual storytelling functions as the intergenerational tether of cultural practice in smaller immigrant communities. Cultural practice evident in everyday life can contain narratives of displacement, translation, and reformation. Narratives both told and practiced by first-generation immigrants to their families and communities both preserve a translational culture and allow it to be re-interpreted. How can we give visual voice to the cyclical preservation and re-translation of diasporic culture?

Recognizing the importance of storytelling in the transfer of cultural knowledge and long-term sustainability of emerging immigrant communities, “Translational Narratives” provides spatial representation of immigrant narratives. Stories of first-generation immigrants are transposed over space, given rhythm & presence through audio-physical installation. The role of the public becomes one of an interpreter. What do you hear, and what comes to mind? The narrative journey is represented in space, heard by the public, & reflected back on itself. “Translational Narratives” invites the public to walk through a ritual: to listen, to draw, and to navigate. What results is neither diasporic nor indigenous, but translational and hybridized in the pursuit of a common re-imagination of urban life.



Sexton Campus Dalhousie University

5410 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS B3J 1B6

Wheelchair accessible