Pop Up Lab

Pop Up Projects is calling on the attendees of Pop Up Lab, an international children’s literature and literacy conference being held on 9 and 10 November in Peterborough to explore opportunities to develop a pan-European network of organisations and individuals working in the fields of children’s illustration and comics, as a response to Brexit.

The 26 international arts organisations and individuals speaking at Pop Up Lab, which aims to invigorate teaching practice and literature programming by exploring imaginative approaches to engaging young readers and writers through visual storytelling, include NoBrow, CLPE, House of Illustration and Literature Wales from the UK, along with Art Basics for Children from Belgium and Tantagora from Spain.

Dylan Calder, director of Pop Up Projects, said: ‘It has never been more important for arts organisations to connect with like-minded European organisations and artists. Once the UK leaves the EU, we will be losing access to funding for arts, culture, heritage, regeneration. We need to sustain a continent-wide market for touring, collaboration, exchange, distribution, dissemination, and we must ensure artists, audiences and participants in the arts have continued opportunities to speak to, hear from and learn about other cultures and communities across Europe. We are a multicultural, multilingual nation and being connected to Europe is vital to many of our communities.’

Amy Vaughan, Director, Cambridge and Touring, Arts Council England, said: ‘Partnership working is a really important way for organisations to develop their work, share best practice and to increase their impact, both within the UK and internationally. We’re proud to support an organisation that is looking at ways in which to develop children’s illustration and comics on a broad scale and I look forward to seeing how this network develops.’

Over the two day practice-sharing conference for educators, teachers and literature professionals, speakers and attendees will be invited to contribute ideas to the vision and remit of a pan-European initiative. Pop Up Projects is looking to develop a network that would enable the sharing of information on great illustrators and comics artists and their work, learning about successful creative and educational practice in these fields, and facilitating opportunities for illustrators and artists to work across cultures and languages.

Calder added: ‘Pop Up Projects wants to be at the heart of initiatives to both increase the translation of children’s books into English, but also to share books and authors across cultures and languages without requiring publishers to undertake translations. We want to problem solve with others to rise to this challenge, and Lab is one event in a wider programme of activities where we want to explore and initiate ideas. Another is Pop Up Creators, an exchange of outstanding and emerging illustrators across the UK and Baltic countries, which culminates with an exhibition at London Book Fair 2018 linked to the Baltic Countries Market Focus.’

Sessions at Pop Up Lab, which will focus on the topic of language and translation, include:

• Literature Wales and Sion Thomas Owen – Storytelling Without Words with multilingual children

• Tiny Owl’s Delaram Ghanimfard – Do pictures travel? Picture Book Aesthetic and Cultural Translation

• Translators in Schools – Everyone’s A Translator

• Sarah Ardizzone and French graphic novelist Bessora – in conversation on Translating Pictures

• Cloudberry Consulting – Before, before, before… Tribal Stories

• Tantagora (Spain) – Old Questions, New Tools

• Art Basics For Children (Belgium) – ABC Studio: A Mobile Resource for Visual Literacy & Creative Storytelling

Sarah Ardizzone, a literary translator who spoke at the recent International Translation Day and will be running two sessions at Pop Up Lab, said: ‘We all know that the younger a child learns a language, the better the results. The same goes for nourishing a child’s imagination with stories from around the world. Children’s literature helps to develop identity, empathy and citizenship, while visual storytelling – illustration, comics – is an empowering way of sharing stories across languages. Through literature, children are able to see themselves, walk in other people’s shoes, and learn about difference and diversity. It is their right to read about other people and places, as well as to access to literature by other people from other places. Never has it been more vital to offer young readers an imaginative route through which to discover otherness.’

Pop Up Lab is presented by Pop Up Projects in association with NoBrow and Transbook, and supported by Peterborough City Council and Vivacity Peterborough. Pop Up Projects is supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Teachers, educators, translators and literature professionals can book tickets for Pop Up Lab at www.pop-up.org.uk/project/lab2017.

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