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Framing the Interpreter

Transculturality from a visual perspective

International Symposium



10 - 11 May 2013



Department of Translation Studies,
University of Graz, Austria

The symposium aims to analyse the significance of photographs featuring interpreter figures in constrained and conflicted contexts. It will be discussed how the written text accompanying the photographs positions the pictured interpreter inside a particular cultural and social system, and how this written text postulates that the figure on the picture is an interpreter.


The majority of photographs and documents to be analysed are taken from a collection of documents – principally gathered and managed by Anxo Fernández-Ocampo at the University of Vigo – that has been assembled and consolidated since 2006. The pictures were chosen for their location within specific conflict situations: the colonial period (the relationship between interpreter and power in the context of colonialism, mainly through the iconography of colonial life in Asia and Africa); the First and Second World War (the perspective of army members who fix their war memories in photographic series where the figure of the interpreter also appears; postcards and snapshots); and the Cold War period (diplomacy, interpreters at war; especially photojournalism).

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