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Anne Parian


From April to July 2008, Anne Parian invited six to twelve native speakers of different tongues who knew little or no French to attend regular workshops at Aubervilliers. She planned activities intended to get participants to find new ways of communicating with each other - each in his or her own language and without using French. Though not speaking French in France is generally considered a handicap, shortcoming, or hindrance, here it came to be seen as a strength and even a source of creativity. Participants were encouraged to use images, stories, songs, objects and writings to talk about their homelands, landscapes and countries - and to rebuild new ones together.

Indeed, the heart of Anne Parian's poetic work is about learning foreign languages in the roughest sense. It's about speaking them "blind," casually or deeply misunderstanding them. Starting in Autumn 2008, Anna Parian decided to make a film documenting this experiment. She worked from a body of texts by foreign authors that she had read in French as a child or teenager and that had, in one way or another, had an impact on her life. Here, the idea is to restore the text to its original language with the help of a native speaker from the workshop and then to put it in yet another language, all the while observing how what is lost in the translation creates the opportunity or desire for emancipation.

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