Surviving Translation

Surviving Translation – 22nd March

Free tickets for Surviving Translation will be available through Eventbrite by clicking on the image below.


North Berwick Community Centre, Main Hall, 8 Law Road, North Berwick, EH39 4PN

Surviving Translation Uncertificated, Documentary+ Q&A with Director Ling Lee and local film maker Tracey Fearnehough
Length: 48 mins + 30 mins Q&A, there’s time to mingle after
Country: UK, 2023

Director: Ling Lee
Based on Research by Charlotte Bosseaux
Producers: Ling Lee & Charlotte Bosseaux

If our words are mistranslated – our truth is not told.

Rejeen Musa was working as a subtitler on ‘Surviving Translation’ when the words she was translating began to unlock painful memories from her own past. As a female Kurdish migrant and a translator, Rejeen became the lens through which the film explores the trauma and life-altering consequences of mistranslation. 
In addition to Rejeen, the film captures testimonies from women who fled their homelands in the hope of building a new life in the UK. They speak candidly of the dangers and gender-based violence they suffered in their past and the arduous journeys they undertook to escape. They explain that – even after arriving in the UK – they need to communicate via an interpreter to secure medical care and apply for asylum; a process which causes them to relive past traumas and recurring unequal power dynamics. With their futures held in the balance – they must speak via a complete stranger who may or may not have their best interest at heart. 
To further illuminate this largely unexamined subject, the film also presents testimonies from interpreters, subtitlers and translators who describe the – sometimes harrowing – challenges that they themselves face. 
Raw testimony, poetic imagery, and academic research coalesce in this unique meditation on translation, isolation, and the meaning of ‘home’.

Surviving Translation © University of Edinburgh, 2023
Funded by an AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship (Grant number: AH/W000199/1)