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Thursday Scratch Nights

Film Screening

Moscow to Beijing


Film Screening

Elly Clarke, Moscow to Beijing

Thursday 22 September / 6.45pm / Free 


In September 2005, Elly Clarke was invited to participate in a mobile conference that was taking place on the Trans Siberian train, from Moscow to Beijing. In order to learn more about the countries and cultures the train was passing through than she could have done alone, Clarke conducted interviews with passengers she met, from Russia, Mongolia and China, about their journeys. With no knowledge of these languages, she using pre-written cue cards to facilitate communication. Clarke also gave everyone she interviewed a disposable camera, so they could take photographs of their trip.


When she returned to London, Clarke then sourced speakers of these languages, through friends and contacts, to interpret the video footage she had gathered - and videoed them doing this. Their words, spoken as they watched the footage, became the subtitles on the original footage. Over the footage of the translations is information about the translators’ relationship with the culture they were examining, spoken to Clarke after they had finished interpreting their portion of the footage. In this way, the translators are woven into the story, offering additional perspectives on the interviews Clarke had been a part of, but not fully understood. 


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September 2011


What are Scratch Nights?

Happening every Thursday evening at the Gallery, Scratch Nights are a series of events by emerging local and national practitioners working in music/sound, film, expanded cinema, performance and spoken word.


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