[PAST EVENT] German Studies Candidate Talk: Dr. Robin Ellis, Fellow at UVA
?Theater of Refuge: Jelinek?s Charges and the Versatorium Translation Collective?
When Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek?s play Charges (Die Schutzbefohlenen) premiered in 2014, it featured German actors telling of flight and exile while accompanied on stage by a chorus of actual refugees. While critics debated representations of refugees in European theater, the Vienna-based Versatorium collective responded by translating Jelinek?s monolingual play into nine languages. The group, which includes professional translators, students, and refugees, also performed dramatic readings of their translations in various European venues. By staging translation as a multidirectional process of encounter, Versatorium challenges models of advocacy that position refugees as mute victims while extending the polyvocal potential of Jelinek?s text.