Ricarda Vidal - Visual Culture

News & Events


18th January 2018

Talk/ Workshop: Home on the Move – Translating for Europe

Film Still Zuzanna Janin


delivered at Noise of Europe conference
University of Applied Sciences, Den Haag, The Netherlands,
18th January 2018, 15:00 – 16:30

In the workshop, I will present the project Talking Transformations: home on the move and invite participants to explore their own notions of home via intersemiotic translation. In small groups, we will analyse two art films made as intersemiotic translations of poetry by Deryn Rees-Jones and Rafał Gawin. Each group will then work on an intersemiotic translation back into poetry. Groups will be encouraged to collaborate on a shared, multilingual translation, which can be performed at the end of the workshop. We will close with a discussion of the various transformations ‘home’ has undergone.


10 November 2017

Paper at Conference: “The Translator’s Gaze: Intersemiotic Translation as Transactional Process”

jointly written with Madeleine Campbell, delivered at Intersemiotic Translation, Adaptation, Transposition: Saying almost the same?, University of Cyprus, Nicosia.

Communication happens on many levels, the gestural, the olfactory, the visual, the linguistic etc. While word-based languages are confined to linguistic borders, which often coincide with national or even regional borders, non-word-based forms of expression can transcend such borders, while, of course still being influenced by cultural traditions. Intersemiotic translation (e.g. the translation of a poem into dance, or a short story into an olfactory experience, or a film into a painting) opens up a myriad of possibilities to map form and sense between cultures beyond the limitations of words. Such exchanges impact on both the translator and the source artefact enriching them with new layers of understanding. At the same time, current terminologies and metaphors associated with translation imply certain unexamined assumptions about the nature of the source, the translator and the transaction between them.  As a transactional process intersemiotic translation is different from adaptation, illustration or interpretation: the artist must adopt the technique of the literary translator, the deep engagement and immersive reading of the source text as well as the loyalty or duty to its prior form. Hence what makes intersemiotic translation ‘translation’ is not so much the end result but the process and the translator’s gaze. As praxis it can be a way of creating new work within the limitations presented by the source text, while at the same time exposing its multiple facets and ‘truths’.  Starting with an interrogation of assumptions associated with the study of translation, this paper will propose a broad framework wherein disciplines such as semiotics, cognitive poetics, transactional analysis and transformative learning theory can bring new perspectives to bear on the study of translation. We will illustrate our argument with examples from recent projects.


1 September – 7th October 2017

Exhibition: Revolve:R: edition two

UCA Farnham
Preview, 21 September, 6.00 – 9.00pm

Very pleased to announce a new group show of our RevolveR project! We’ll be showing works on paper, poems, art films and a musical score of RevolveR edition two - the results of a two-year-long collaboration between artists, writers, composers and a mathematician.





15 September 2017

Conference Workshop – Play Therapy in Translation

jointly delivered with Maria-José Blanco at Anna Freud and Play conference, King’s College London.

With this workshop we would like to explore how playing with words can help understand our relationship to different languages. We will be using Boggle, a word game using words from any language the participants know. Participants will be asked to collaboratively construct a story using Tthe words they found during the game. They can either translate non-English words will be then translated onto a story which can either use the words in translation or keep the words in the original language, thus making a multilingual story. The translation of single words between languages, which are not likely to be shared by all participants, will require the players to explore the multiplicity of meanings and bring the importance of interpretation and creativity within the translation process to the fore. Through the game we will look at the way the participants feel about using / interpreting different languages and the way they communicate with others through the writing of the story.


11 May 2017

Paper at Conference: Translation as movement – migration and notions of ‘home’

written jointly with Manuela Perteghella, delivered at  (e)motion Cultural Literacy in Europe: Second Biennial ConferenceWarsaw 10-12 May 2017 

Our paper investigates the politics around ‘home’ and migration in Britain – how it is talked about, written about and utilised – and looks at the role of translation as a way to contest the negative image of migration and demonstrate its potential for positive transformation.


24 March 2017

TG Workshop – Even Further Away


12.00-1.30pm, University of Lancaster

A workshop for translation students, based on the earlier translation games ‘Far Away within Us’ and ‘Further Away’. The task is to create an intersemiotic translation of the the art versions of Vasco Popa’s poem “Daleko u nama”: Danka Dimitrijevic’s photographic translation and Pietro Reviglio’s translation of Danka’s work into drawing.






3rd-28th February 2017 

EXHIBITION: R:R - Works from Revolve:R, edition two

R-R Bristol invite
Preview 6-9 pm on Friday February 3rd 2017
Open Saturday 4th 11 am – 5 pm and until the 28th February by arrangement.
Hours Gallery (10 Colston Yard, Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5BD, UK)

R:R presents a selection of works from Revolve:R, edition two including limited edition prints, poetry, short films, a musical score, and the edition two bookwork publication.




14 October 2016

Child’s Play 


.organised by myself together with Maria-José Blanco & Carolin Huth

2-5pm, River Room, King’s College London, 

part of the AHRI festival 2016 ‘Play’

A multilingual afternoon of games and a film screening.

We are currently doing the research for this – please help us and tell us your memories of what you played as a child!



30 September 2016

Workshop at International Translation Day

Free Word Centre / British Library

I have been invited to devise a Translation Games Workshop for ITD 2016. Once I’ve decided what to do I’ll add more details.


19 July 2016

PODCAST: “Translating Scent” now online

listen to the panel discussion between Euan Cameron, Pia Long and Ricarda Vidal, which was organised at the Free Word Centre by Marta Dziurosz in June.


1st July 2016

Words, Brush-strokes and Dancing Shoes – a symposium on translatability across invisible borders


King’s College London, 11am – 5pm, Strand Building, Room S3.05
organised by Ricarda Vidal and Madeleine Campbell
A day of presentations, discussions and networking amongst artists, researchers, curators and translators working on intersemiotic translation.






2 June 2016

“Translating Scent” 


Free Word Centre, 6.45-9.00pm, organised by Marta Dziurosz
How can we translate scent into words and vice versa? Ricarda has been invited by Translator-in-Residence Marta Dziurosz to discuss the alchemy of language and sensory experiences together with Euan Cameron, translator of Philippe Claudel’sParfums (an autobiography told in smells) and Pia Long, writer at Volatile Fiction and perfume expert. After the discussion and a short reading from Parfums, there’ll be a chance to try out some creative writing; an array of fragrant substances will be on offer to inspire you to “translate” them into prose or poetry.



17 May 2016

Translation Zone 1: a roundtable discussing art-and-translation

The Library of Birmingham, 2-5pm, organised by Heather Connelly

Translation Zones


I have been invited to take part in a discussion on the intersection between art and translation with Nicoline Van Harskamp,  Martin Waldmeier and Pierre-Alexis Mével, leading artists, curators, translators and academics in their fields. We will each present our research and practice. This will be followed by a semi-structured discussion on the topic and Q & A with the audience.



27 February 2016

Launch: Revolve:R Volume 2, the violet edition

4.15-5pm, Artist Book Market at The Fruitmarket Gallery,  45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF


revolver offen 


Revolve:R Volume 2, the violet edition. Sam will give an introductory talk and show images and films from the second volume of our collaborative bookwork Revolve:R. There will also be readings of the poetic contributions by Anna Mace and Steven J Fowler. The new bookwork will be on display and available for purchase.






17 November 2015

Panel Discussion: Criminal Minds

6.30-8.30pm, King’s College London, G. 12 New Hunts House, Guy’s Campus SE1 1UL


 Criminal Minds
I’m one of three speakers at this panel discussion on the relationship between criminal behaviour and mental disorders in relation to topics such as Free Will and genetic predisposition, as well as why the public and media is so fascinated with serial killers and the criminally insane. The first speaker, Dr. Nigel Blackwood is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry at King’s, and a consultant forensic psychiatrist at HMP Wandsworth. He will be speaking about the difference between psychopathy and antisocial behaviour, and how that affects criminal behaviour. I’m second and will be providing an insight into society’s fascination with death and murder, in particular, serial killer art and why people want to buy it. Finally, Professor Thomas Fahy, who is a consultant forensic psychiatrist, will be presenting on current insanity laws and doing a case presentation. There’s a wine reception afterwards. For more info check here.



23 October 2015

Workshop:  Translation-Fabrication – Weaving Translation into a Poetic Collage

3-6pm, King’s College London, part of the Arts and Humanities Festival on ‘Fabrication’


Translation Games - sarah sparkes END window at the tree

led by Ricarda Vidal and Maria-José Blanco in collaboration with the artist Sarah Sparkes

Weaving Translation into a Poetic Collage is a special kind of collaborative fabrication for this year’s Arts & Humanities Festival at King’s College London, which plays with the notion of narrative fabrication as much as with the notion of physical creation. Using multi-medial translation as a vehicle, we will explore the line between text and textile, between fabric and fabrication by making a tapestry of poetry.
More info




9-11th October 2015

Video Talk: ‘Bridging the Mediterranean – A Vision for World Peace’

invited speaker at ‘Rethinking Europe IV. The other side(s) of sea’, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The paper looks at Herman Sörgel’s visionary Atlantropa project from the first half of the 20th century as a proposal for world peace based on technology and the collaboration between nations. Sörgel envisaged damming the Strait of Gibraltar, partially desiccating the Mediterranean Sea and forging a Eurafrican union based on a huge electricity net spanning both continents and drawing its energy from hydropower plants in the lowered Mediterranean Sea. Having witnessed both world wars as well as the Third Reich in Germany, Sörgel was profoundly distrustful of politics and saw technology and a shared dependence on energy as the only way to force peace upon the nations. I will outline Sörgel’s original plans and present the motivations for his technological bid for peace on the historical background of the 1920s to ‘50s before moving forward into the 21st century. Here I will look at a fictional re-engagement with Atlantropa by the filmmaker Samuel Stevens. In his short film ‘Atlantropa’ (2009), Stevens engages with Sörgel’s promise of world peace and international collaboration. By shining a spotlight on the plight of migrants in Ceuta and Melilla, he draws attention to the rift between Europe and Africa. While Stevens already made his film in 2009, its central concern is now more pressing than ever with thousands of refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa on an almost daily basis. The failure of the European nations to come to a consensus regarding the fate of the refugees and the absence of any viable cooperation between Europe and North Africa to resolve the crisis could be said to vindicate Sörgel’s dismissal of politics in favour of a technological solution.


5th October 2015

Impact! My article on The Conversation has been read 549,503 times in the three weeks since publication!


28th September 2015

Interview: speaking about Atlantropa on Australian National Radio

I was interviewed about my research on Atlantropa and the refugee crisis of summer 2015 by Australian National Radio, ABC RN, Melbourne: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programitem/peOwDerl83?play=true (forward to 55.55 min), 2pm (local time)


18th September 2015

Publication:“Atlantropa: One man’s colossal answer to Europe’s post-WWI refugee crisis”

Atlantropa in Independent
An edited version of my article for The Conversation (see below) has appeared in The Independent on p.15 in print and online at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/atlantropa-one-mans-colossal-answer-to-europes-post-wwi-refugee-crisis-10506582.html)







17th September 2015 

Publication: “Atlantropa: the colossal 1920s plan to dam the Mediterranean and create a supercontinent”

My short article linking Herman Sörgel’s colossal plan for a restructuring of the Mediterranean with the current refugee crisis was published on The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/atlantropa-the-colossal-1920s-plan-to-dam-the-mediterranean-and-create-a-supercontinent-47370 


7th July 2015

Talk: “Translation Games – foreign languages, artistic creation and social impact”

conference paper delivered at “Insights and Tools for Managing Arts Projects with Social Impact” at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, Estonia.


24 June 2012

Results of Still in Translation available on the AHRC image gallery!


Figure 15



12th June 2015

‘Still’ at School: A Translation Game for Year 12 Students at Twyford CofE High School

led by Ricarda Vidal & Maria-José Blanco in collaboration with teachers

In a lunch times session students from Twyford will translate some of the visual translations of ‘Still’ through a series of foreign languages.



30 May 2015

Talk: ‘Action-Cam Cycling in the City’


Invited talk at ‘Vertigo in the City’ Symposium, University of Westminster, 29-30 May 2015.


With a particular focus on London, this paper will explore the particular conditions that give rise to ‘action-cam cycling’ in the city, before going on to analyse the image of the city created in these videos and looking at the attraction of vertigo.





15 May 2015

BOOK LAUNCH: The Power of Death

Sarah Sparkes, "You are Here", 2006, coffin built to fit the artist
6-9pm King’s College London, River Room, King’s Building, Strand Campus 
Take a step into the world beyond at The Power of Death book launch. The book will be presented by its editors, Dr Ricarda Vidal and Dr Maria-José Blanco.

There will also be an exhibition, round table discussion, film screening and wine reception on the evening. For more information please visit the Facebook event page.




23rd February – 22 June 2015

Still: Denise Riley to Image: a Translation Game for the AHRC Image Gallery

Still FINAL D Riley

curated by Ricarda Vidal & Maria-José Blanco

12 artists will consecutively translate Denise Riley’s poem ‘Still’ into visual art. The results will be exhibited virtually in the AHRC Image Gallery. Several of the visual translations will be translated back into words at public workshops.





3rd February 2015

AHRC grant awarded for a Virtual Translation Games Exhibition!

Maria-José Blanco and I have been awarded a small grant by the AHRC, which enables us to design and play a Translation Game for one poet and 12 visual artists. The results will be displayed on the AHRC image gallery in celebration of the research council’s 10th anniversary. More details will be announced soon.


January 2015

TRANSLATION GAMES: ’Further Away’ – Two new translations from drawing into poetry


Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 16.21.26

 In the course of January translations by the poets Anna Mace and Matt Cooper of a drawing by Pietro Reviglio (itself a translation of a Serbian poem) were published on the Translation Games website.
Find out more


15 December 2014

NEW PUBLICATION: Alternative Worlds: Blue-Sky Thinking since 1900 has just been published!

Cover front
 In an attempt to counteract the doom and gloom of the economic crisis and the politicians’ overused dictum that ‘there is no alternative’, this interdisciplinary collection presents a number of alternative worlds which were thought up over the course of the last century. While change at macro-level was the focus of most of the ideological struggles in the 20th century, the real impetus for change came from the blue-sky thinking of scientists, engineers, architects, sociologists, planners, and above all, writers, who imagined alternatives to the status quo. Following a roughly chronological order from the turn of the 19th century to the present, the book  explores  the dreams, plans and hopes, but also the nightmares and fears reflected in utopian thinking in the Western hemisphere. The alternative worlds at the focus of the individual essays can each be seen as crucial to the history of the past one hundred years. …

click here for more details



15 November 2014

NEW PUBLICATION: The Power of Death: Relfections on Death in Western Society is now available in the UK and USA!

Power of Death cover
 The volume examines approaches to and representations of death in Western societies since 1900. From the practical to the more theoretical aspects of death, from the professional to the intimate, the real and the fictitious, this interdisciplinary collection of twenty essays explores the power of death in our lives.

Organised into five parts, ‘Death in Society’,  ‘Death in Literature’, ‘Death in Visual Culture’, ‘Cemeteries and Funerals’ and ‘Personal Reflections on Death’ this book includes socio-historical and anthropological studies of changing burial customs in Britain, Romania, Portugal and Spain as well as an account of the phenomenon of the ‘dying party’ in the Netherlands. It further examines death and the mourning process from the point of view of the psycho-analyst, the therapist and the social worker; the fascination with violent death in crime fiction and the phenomenon of serial killer art; death and bereavement in poetry, fiction and autobiography; the manipulation of visual constructions of death for political purposes; and spectatorship and audience reactions to fictional and actual depictions of death on screen (cinema and television).
The book concludes with a visual essay by photographer Briony Campbell reflecting on her work ‘The Dad Project’ (2009) which documents her father’s final months before he died from cancer.
This book approaches death through a wide range of themes and disciplines and opens a dialogue between them.

click here for more detail



1 November 2014

Roundtable Discussion: ‘Migrating Texts: Translation’

Senate House, University of London, Room 243, 9.30-13.00

I’ve been invited to be one of the discussants at a roundtable discussion on translation and its creative (alternative) and commercial uses.\



22 October 2014

Workshop: Far Within Us – A Translation Game in Art and Poetry

INSIDE OUT FestivalFranklin Wilkins Building, King’s College London, Glass Suites 2 & 3, 18.30-20.00
led by Ricarda Vidal and Pavle Ninkovic

For this workshop I have teamed up with Pavle Ninkovic who runs the interactive Serbo-Croatian Poetry Translation website. The workshop will begin with a short presentation of Translation Games and its outputs, i.e. translations from flash fiction to film, from film to ceramics or choreography, from concrete poetry to scent etc. We will discuss the fine line between translation, interpretation and response. What does translation mean within different contexts and how can we define language beyond the linguistic realm? For the remainder of the workshop we will challenge you to translate a visual translation of a poem back into words. The original poem was written in Serbian and has been translated by artist Danka Dimitrijevic into the more international language of images. No foreign languages are needed to participate in this workshop, but you’ll have to enjoy the creative, imaginative and playful use of language – be it linguistic or artistic.
More info here:


27 Sep 2014

Workshop for 16-19 year olds: Thamesmead on Film

Urban Pioneers @ The Architecture Foundation, The Link Thamesmead, London, 11-12.30pm
led by Ricarda Vidal

The workshop will get the ‘Urban Pioneers’ thinking and talking about the architecture of Thamesmead, the original utopian project and how this was used/constructed by the camera in the framing of individual shots in three films. We’ll also discuss how the original utopia and the filmic images compare to the young people’s own experience of the place they live in.


26 Sep 2014

Workshop: Translation Games meets Enemies

International Translation Day, British Library, London
led by Ricarda Vidal and Steven J. Fowler

We invite artists, translators and everyone else on a journey into the wondrous world of languages to investigate what translation means within the literary as well as the artistic context. For this workshop we have teamed up with Steven Fowler’s Enemies project, which is about the possibilities of poetry in collaboration, across artforms, languages and environments. Founded in 2012, it has produced over 40 events in 8 countries with over 300 poets and artists across multiple mediums, publications, exhibitions and performances. Together TG and the Enemies have devised a game, which will allow participants to experience poetry-in-translation as a collaborative event.


6 July – 13 September 2014

Revolve:R Exhibition

Choisi – one at a time, via Ferruccio, Pelli 13, 6901 Lugano, Switzerland

Revolve:R edition one and a selection of giclée prints from edition one and two will be on show at Choisi.



6 July 2014

Talk: Revolve:R and mail art

2.30pm, Spazio 1929, via Ciseri 3, 6901 Lugano, Switzerland

Sam Treadaway and I will give a presentation about the Revolve:R project at Spazio 1929 as part of Lugano’s 7th Open Gallery festival and to mark the opening of the Revolve:R exhibition later in the evening at Choisi Gallery.



24th June 2014

Translation Games Workshop: from text to text, from visual to text

Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Milton Court, London EC2Y 9BH

A workshop for anyone interested in translation in the widest sense. No linguistic or artistic skills are needed (though both are very welcome!), but a vivid imagination and a creative mind are required. I will lead this workshop in collaboration with Steve J. Fowler, as part of the TCCE annual conference.


15th May 2014

“Translation, Ekphrasis, Poiesis: Comments on Translation Games and Intermedial Time”

joint paper delivered by Erica Carter, Ricarda Vidal and Jenny Chamarette, at the conference “The Longing for Time: Ästhetische Eigenzeit in Contemporary Film, Literature and Art”, University of Konstanz, Germany


3rd May 2014

“Building Tunnels, Linking Continents, Building Peace”

paper at “Memories of the Future”, Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts, London, 2-3 May 2014


5th March 2014

FREE EVENT: Translation Games: P.O.W.

Saison Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, 5th floor, Southbank Centre, 8pm


Simon Barraclough, Two Sun Spots, P.O.W.

Simon Barraclough, Two Sun Spots, P.O.W.

This time we translate from poetry to film, scent and digital art and then back to poetry. Jenny and I have chosen five poems from Antonio Claudio Carvalho’s concrete poetry magazine P.O.W.: Simon Barraclough’s “two sun spots”, Paul Brown’s “cold”, Antonio Claudio Carvalho’s “(the) flesh of gods”, Mel Gooding’s “sextet: improvisations”, and Chrissy Williams’s “murder she wrote”. We’ve invited filmmaker Anna Cady, multimedia artist Sam Treadaway and digital artist Katja Knecht to choose one of the five poems and translate it into their medium. Each of them will present their translations on the evening and discuss the challenges and revelations of translating from one medium (text) into another (fine arts). The poet Steven Fowler will simultaneously translate the discussions into live writing.


This event is free but space is limited. To book your place email specialedition@poetrylibrary.org.uk




15th January 2014

TALK: “Going for a Ride with F.T. Marinetti and Quentin Tarantino: Speed, Sex, Death, …and Nostalgia”


Still from Quentin Tarantino, Death Proof, 2007

Still from Quentin Tarantino, Death Proof, 2007

Lecture at Staff Seminar, Dep. of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London.

King’s Building, Room -K1.56, 15.30-17.00

Free for all.








17th December 2013

Book Launch and Film Screening: Tegel Speculations and Propositions



Over a period of eighteen months, a selected group of international artists and writers focused their attention on Tegel airport. They observed how it is used, engaged in new activities and imagined how the building might function in the future.

The outcome of their enquiry is a book edited by Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Susann Prinz and Julie Westerman, and a DVD examining new perspectives and approaches to urban renewal, regeneration, social organisation, mobility and the legacy of modernist architecture.

I was one of the writers and contributed the short text: “Google Earth to Berlin Tegel”.

Site Gallery, Sheffield, 6-8pm




8 November 2013

TALK: The Infinite Repetition of the Accidentdentdent: Making Sense of Warhol’s “Death in America” (1962-3)

Andy Warhol, Green Burning Car I, 1963

Andy Warhol, Green Burning Car I, 1963

Guest Lecture at Southampton Solent University, 11.30 – 13.00











3 November 2013

Revolve:R at Pabdmouth (Publish and Be Damned)

 Revolve:R Books 

11am – 5pm, Plymouth Arts Centre

Our Revolve:R bookwork will be at the ‘Absentee’ table at this fab artist book event.
“Nom de Strip and Publish and be Damned bring a taste of Publish and be Damned’s artist-led publishing fair to the South West for a one day event including book-stalls, live events and artists’ films.”

See nomdestrip.co.uk/pabd.html




28 October 2013

Book Launch

1 Death and Desire front 

6 – 8.00 p.m., Department of German, Virginia Woolf Building, 5th Florr, 22 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NR

Death and Desire in Car Crash Culture will be launched together with 6 other volumes published by colleagues in the department of German. Please join me for a glass of wine and a chat about the beauty of traffic jams, the miracles of crashing your car and the sheer exhilaration of unlimited speed!

This is a free event but please rsvp german@kcl.ac.uk


My book will be available at a 30% discount!




24 October 2013

Roundtable and Mini exhibition of Translation Games,

Arts and Humanities Festival, King’s College


Discussion group

8pm – 9.30pm, Council Room, King’s Building, King’s College London, Strand Campus

Free event, but registration is needed.

We will present the findings, results and miscellaneous outcomes of Translation Games. This will include showing some of the artworks and a selection of recordings of the workshops and performances. There’ll also be a Q&A with some of the artists and students who participated in the project.

There’s a wine reception after the event.

More info and to register