“Wozu Image?” / What’s the Point of Images? Exploring the Relation between Image and Text through Intersemiotic Translation and Its Embodied Experience

Madeleine Campbell 1  and Laura González 2
  • 1 Moray House School of Education, Institute for Education, Teaching and Leadership, University of Edinburgh,, Edinburgh, UK
  • 2 Research and Knowledge Exchange, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland,, Glasgow, UK


“Wozu Image?” is a two-hour workshop held as part of “(e)motion,” the second Cultural Literacy in Europe (CLE) Biennial Conference which took place in Warsaw on May 10-12, 2017. In our session, we expanded the themes of the “Wozu Poesie?” exhibition, first held in Berlin in 2013, which, with thanks to Haus für Poesie (formerly Literatur Werkstatt Berlin), was shown as part of the conference. The workshop explored, through intersemiotic translation and its embodied experience, the relation between image and text, and what it means to put oneself in the picture. In this paper, we contextualise this artivism, or metaphorical “act of war,” in relation to photography. Artivism is a composite word that denotes “an activist action directed to creating change through the medium and resources of art” (Poposki 718). We report and record the processes and outcomes of the workshop with the aim of opening up intersemiotic translation (translation as encounter and experience across different media) to explorations beyond words and across disciplines. Specifically, we explore the production of text in relation to images as a way of thinking through a problem and answering questions, and the composition of an image as a way to embody thoughts on cultural literacy.

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Open Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed journal exploring the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts. It interprets culture in an inclusive sense and promotes new research perspectives in cultural studies. The journal aims to enhance international collaboration among scholars from the Global North and the Global South and help early-career researchers. It is also committed to increasing public access to scholarship on cultural studies.