Feelings in Translation

This week has been a whirlwind. I’ve been preparing for the upcoming online exhibit of Tattoos and Diabetes. I’m really excited to showcase the great stories and ink that people have shared with us. I hope you find it enjoyable and inspiring. We are releasing it on November 14th. We also have a lot of submissions from the USA, 1 from France, Germany and Brazil as well.

This week’s post is actually about a tour that came to us yesterday, two people from Sudan. When we concluded the tour, we realized there had never been anyone from Sudan at the museum before.

What made this tour so fascinating was that after I had explained each room, the woman on our tour recorded the room with her language and explained it all for her mother, who has diabetes. I thought that was incredibly touching and moving. Part of one of the best reasons to work here is hearing of how far reaching this museum’s impact is.

Such an experience as she translated it made me think about my time in the US Holocaust Museum. Translating a story, an experience is difficult (For the record, I speak 5 languages). It is even harder to convey emotion in the words. While I did not understand the words she was saying, I would hope that she was using words that conveyed the impact and meaning of this space. It is not an easy thing to do, but I have always wondered how to do that. Perhaps working in a space like this can help provide some insights into how to tell a story to an international audience.

In any case, I’m looking forward to telling the stories of more people with this upcoming exhibit, as well as the story of what happened in this historic place with more tours.

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