This issue of Refract treats translation as a process by which a set of information is manipulated, altered, transferred, or rendered into another form. How do moments of transformation affect the outcome? What could be gained by focusing more on transformation rather than a fixed set of ideas that are absolute, objective, or universal? How does the intended audience shape the translation and the acts of the translators? And what is the relationship between the original and the translation? Moreover, what is lost, added, and gained in the act of translation?
Selected contributions will interrogate the mechanisms of translation, its various outcomes and its role in visual culture or other forms of creative, social, or political production and representation. These concerns inevitably lead us to think about power. What does the translator add or leave out to make language, ideas, and worldviews more accessible? Accessible to whom? And for what purposes? Refract seeks submissions that examine the power dynamics that undergird such decisions. Unequal distributions of power require that we delve further into what ’translation’ can implicate, what it can or cannot do, what it promises or retracts. Can we still say today that we are able to ’translate’ across cultural, historical, geographical, and epistemological divides?