Old fashioned film projector

Ghadah Kadi will deliver the CLCC Research Seminar on 18 February 2021 on the topic of subtitling conflict-related gender-based violence documentaries:

Gender Based Violence (GBV) has become a devastatingly effective tactic of repression and fear in some conflict zones. In times of crisis the incidence and severity of these forms of violence can increase, and survivors become more vulnerable to being displaced and afraid to speak up. The shame and stigma surrounding GBV contributes to survivors not speaking up about violence when it happens. This has resulted in an increasing use of rape and other forms of GBV as weapons of torture in conflicts, while the process of documenting incidents has become extremely challenging.

In this regard GBV has become a topic of great interest worldwide, not just in terms of understanding what is happening and how it can be dealt with, but increasingly in relation to how the voices of affected women are portrayed in the media when associated with conflicts, particularly in documentaries dealing with first-hand accounts of abuse. When survivors decide to speak up, they want their voices to be heard.

Whether the language used by the women is subtitled, voiced-over or similar, the role of translation is crucial in ensuring that the stories and the voices of those involved are heard and accurately portrayed. In particular, the process involves ensuring that the intent and meaning of the original is not adversely influenced by translation modes or the translators’ competence.

Translating emotive narratives is a highly specialised and challenge-filled area. The subject of GBV is heavily charged with cultural concepts and emotional expressions when survivors narrate their trauma and recall their experience on screen. This seminar will explore part of my current research plan which aims to discover the subtitling strategies adopted by professional subtitlers for the translation of Arabic emotional expressions in GBV narratives.