The Division of Humanities and Social Sciences (DHSS) organised an International Writers’ Workshop (IWW) on 28 February. The workshop featured distinguished guests that all came from different countries. The guests were Sarah Lippett from the UK, Mara Genschel from Germany, Barnali Ray Shukla from India, Han Yujoo from South Korea, and Nikola Madžirov from Macedonia.

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(from left) Barnali Ray Shukla, Han Yujoo, Mara Genschel, Nikola Madžirov, Sarah Lippett, and Dean of DHSS Prof Sung Mei-hwa

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Dean of DHSS Prof Sung Mei-hwa welcoming the attendees and guests

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DHSS Instructor, Ms Yao Chang, introduces the guests

These artists displayed their work one by one. UK graphic novelist and artist, Sarah Lippett, displayed a section from her graphic novel ‘A Puff of Smoke’, where she incorporates aspects of her life into the graphic novel. She goes through each panel, describing the situation and setting while reading the dialogue between talking characters.

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Sarah Lippett

German poet and artist, Mara Genschel, shared an excerpt from ‘Referenzfläche’ called ‘Trash’. She included the visual aid of pieces of paper formed and taped in a certain way to show the scenery of the situation she was reading aloud.

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Mara Genschel

Indian poet, writer and filmmaker, Barnali Ray Shukla, drew her inspiration from hiking in the Himalayas and some of her poems include snippets of mountain imagery. The poems she read aloud were ’Tandem Footsteps‘, ’Blue Socks’, and ’Yellow Paper Plane’.

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Barnali Ray Shukla

South Korean fiction writer, Han Yujoo, read an excerpt from her debut novel ‘The Impossible Fairytale’, where she read in Korean first, then provided an English translation.

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Han Yujoo

Macedonian poet, essayist and translator, Nikola Madžirov, read aloud some of his poems in his native language before providing the English translation. His poems were ‘Home’, ‘Shadows Pass Us By’, and ‘Shattered’.

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Nikola Madžirov

During the Q&A session of the workshop, students were very inquisitive and asked various questions regarding where the artists got their inspiration, and what they think of the translation struggles of art. Assistant Professor in Applied Translation Studies, Dr Ge Song, asked the artists their recommendations on different approaches to understanding literature. Genschel responded with asking questions regarding the literature: “Why is this book? Why does ‘this’ have to be digital?”

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The distinguished guests aking part in a Q&A session

Year 2 Applied Translation Studies student, Flora Ma, asked “What are the key elements in a poem?” Madžirov answered with “Finding a language between you and things that don’t talk”.

Other students were very curious to know what advice these artists could give them. Shukla explained how when she thinks of words, she “Re-draws upon words and looks at the same word differently”. Genschel detailed how she has limits of [her] own imagination and expressed how she “gets out of [her mind] and finds new limits”. Lippett commented on how her stories focus on stories that people can relate to. Her characters may not be the stereotypical explorers, roaming the land, but they are adventurers in their own stories.

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Students following along with the reading as well as asking questions

Reporter/Photographer: Marissa Furney
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He
(from MPRO)