Theater, Performance und Tanz in Hamburg - Kampnagel

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Breaking the Canon:
Konferenz zur Kanonzerstörung – Tag 3

  • © Vanessa Reed
digital / Theory
  • Sun, 13.06.2021 from 11:30 [also Online]
    Kampnagel – K2 free entrance
  • Sun, 13.06.2021 from 14:35 [also Online]
    Kampnagel – K2 free entrance

KLICK Here for the Stream


"Canon", a - controversial, changeable, but nonetheless powerful - collection of works that are collectively ascribed outstanding importance. Works belonging to the so-called canon are published in editions of classics, staged in theatres for decades and centuries, reviewed in the feuilleton, awarded literary prizes, translated, taught in school and universities. Due to structural racism, ableism, classism or sexism, only a few have the power to define what becomes part of the canon and who can find themselves in it. The social selection of these works exerts violence: through erasure, appropriation, economic discrimination, reproduction of discrimination. But what to do with the canon? Dismantle, transform, overwrite, infiltrate, explode, archive, start again?

• The program on Friday and Sunday will take place with live audience at Kampnagel in K2, and be streamed online. Seats on large pillows are available by booking a place in the first row. The program on Saturday will only take place digitally.

• All parts of the live program will be streamed live in Zoom Webinar and on Kampnagel’s Vimeo channel.

• Some parts of the program are in spoken German, some in spoken English. Simultaneous audio translation to both languages will be available in Zoom and in Vimeo. In Vimeo, both English and German subtitles will be available for all parts of the live program. The streaming on Vimeo will remain online after the conference.

• During the Q&As, you can ask question via the chat in Zoom Webinar, or by sending your question in a text message (the phone number will be displayed during the stream)

Keynote: Agency in Translation by Jonis Hartmann

11:30 / 40 min.

agency in translation

keynote für poetry translating poetry/ das method acting as means of deeper access to gefühl/  agency on both sides of a voice/ embodiment of speaking, text kommt closer with eyes closed/ vs schulen, vs lesen mit müden augen/ “Subject is known by what she sees.” (Ginsberg)/ warum übersetzen wir nicht alle?/ roles of walking language, translation as SoulTrain (ing)/ Jonis Hartmann tries to flash-theorize on selbst-erfahrungen in lyrikübersetzung lebender & nicht mehr (-) stimmen as sessions for developing agency & response-ability 

• Live from Kampnagel (k2), screening to Zoom Webinar and Vimeo.
• performed Denglisch (no translation)


Panel Discussion: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: perspectives in translations

12:20 / 60 Min. + Q&A afterwards

These days the pressing question being asked in the publishing world is “Who may translate who”? However, the translation process is one of a relationship and a good relationship requires sensitivity and agency. So does the process between author and translator. How can we foster this relationship in the German canon that does not recognize this value? A canon which has so little translators of diverse backgrounds, that continues to translate works that fit into their lens of the stereotype of marginalized voices? What is needed to break this canon where authors can find themselves in translators and diverse translators become the norm and not the exception? 

Speakers: Elnathan John, Lucy Jones, Ghayath Almadhoun
Moderation: Lubi Barre

• Live from Kampnagel (k2), screening to Zoom Webinar and Vimeo.
• In spoken English and simultaneous translation to German spoken language, English and German subtitles





Panel Discussion: Children’s Literature - Fear of imitation as a drive to break the canon

14:35 / 60 min. + Q&A afterwards

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
- James Baldwin, novelist and social critic

The institution surrounding children’s literature has remained a tradition reinforced, upheld, and untouched. So what happens to a society where the very fabric of learning through storytelling remains unchanged for decades? Children continue to imitate perspectives passed on from outdated generations. Their outlook becomes narrow even if their society grows and the tapestry of their neighbors becomes colorful with difference. How can we change this canon and make room for the varied voices so that imitation cannot be limiting but freeing?

Speakers: Christiana Kassama, Olaolu Fajembola (Tebalou), Dayan Kodua
Moderation: Makia Matheis, LICSW

• Live from Kampnagel (k2), screening to Zoom Webinar and Vimeo.
• In spoken English and simultaneous translation to spoken German with translation to German subtitles and English Subtitles.


Keynote: Diversity in the publishing sector – Where do we stand? Von Elisa Diallo

16:00 / 60 min. with Q&A afterwards

2021 was a good year for the diversity cause in the German book industry. Within a few months, novels by Sharon Dodua Otoo, Mithu Sanyal, Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, Shida Bazyar, and nonfiction by Asal Dardan, Mohamed Amjahid, Emilia Roig appeared. So, are we already where we would like to be: a diverse literary world that corresponds to and reflects the real diversity of society? Where all voices are heard, all realities have their place? For that, the book industry would have to change structurally: but it is still far too white. How white exactly, and what it takes for a sustainable change: that's what we should be talking about. As openly as possible, and as concretely as possible. Elisa Diallo’s contribution is an invitation to do so.

• Live from Kampnagel (k2), screening to Zoom Webinar and Vimeo.
• In spoken German, with simultaneous audio translation to spoken English, English subtitles and German subtitles. 


Panel: Changing the guard, replacing the palace: Symptoms of diversity in German publication

17:10 / 60 min. + Q&A afterwards

Like water eroding rock, the change in German publishing remains painfully slow. Diversity in voices from marginalized communities and even the structure of how a story is written is tightly controlled by the industry with erasure being rampant. Authors of different languages must first publish outside of the country to have even a slim chance within the industry. German publishing keeps the focus narrow through reinforcing tropes and myths. How can we dissuade the canon of publishing to reflect the diverse society we live in and give something more to the people than the cliché of the “roman”?

Speakers: Zöe Beck, Christine Koschmieder, Sharon Dodua Otoo
Moderation: Rachelle Pouplier

• Live from Kampnagel (k2), screening to Zoom Webinar and Vimeo.
• In spoken German with simultaneous audio translation to English and English subtitles, German subtitles.

Breaking the canon – Day 3 from Kampnagel on Vimeo.

Der Stream ist jeweils in der Originalsprache. Untertitel bzw. live Verdolmetschung stehen im Zoom Webinar zur Verfügung. Link im Webinar.
The Stream will be in the languages spoken on stage. Subtitles and Translation are available in the Zoom Webinar. Link here.


  • Curation: Lubi Barre & Alina Buchberger
  • Co-Curation/Consulting: Perel
  • Curation Kritikables Queertett: Pajam Masoumi
  • Curation Virtual Bookfair: Ewe Benbenek
  • Production management: Nico Scagliarini
  • Production assistance: Sarah Just
  • Production management Kampangel: Johanna Thomas
  • Social media: Sherouk Elsheshai, Emma Stenger, Mariia Vorotilina
  • Illustration: Vanessa Reed
  • Technical support: Babelbox
  • Technician: Martin Bals
  • Translation: Nikola Basler und Team, Charlotte Stein, Myriam Sodjinou, Annika Mattes. Meike Krause

A conference by fluxus² e.V. and Kampnagel funded in the program #takenote by the Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media. 

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