Listen to our voices: Translating accounts of gender-based violence in documentaries.

Awareness of Gender Based Violence (thereafter GBV) is growing worldwide with increased coverage in the media (social media, news, cinema, television etc.). Accounts of GBV therefore reach us in different ways, for instance we will discover the story of a survivor in a film, novel, autobiography or a documentary. My research considers GBV accounts told by survivors in the first person in the medium of documentaries. This is because I want to listen to the voices of women who have suffered abuse, see how their voices are being translated in other languages in subtitled or voice-over versions, and ascertain what role translation plays in this context.

In the first part of this paper, I define GBV and present the situation and reasons behind choosing documentaries for research. Then I reflect on the translation of trauma with a focus on the role of translation and responsibility of translators. We then move on to the general translation situation of the documentary genre and why it is important to investigate how the voices of survivors are translated. The paper finishes with a presentation of the methodology and material used to analyse the voices of women. It is ultimately claimed that translation of GBV material should be encouraged since sharing the stories, or voices, of women who have survived abuse can be seen as an attempt to break the circle of isolation victims of GBV experience.

Bio note

Dr Charlotte Bosseaux has worked on literary translation and point of view, and is the author of How does it Feel: Point of View in Translation (Rodopi, 2007). Her current focus is on voice, performance and characterisation in audiovisual material. She has authored a monograph on this topic; Dubbing, Film and Performance: Uncanny Encounters (Peter Lang 2015). Other publications include work on Marilyn Monroe (2012 and 2012a), Julianne Moore (forthc. 2018) as well as on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2008 and 2014). She is currently writing on documentaries dealing with Gender-Based Violence investigating how the voices of women are translated in this context. Other publications include work on music in translation (2011) and crime fiction in translation (forthc.2018).