TALKS Werke & Tage “I can hide behind the source text and play with it”
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“I can hide behind the source text and play with it”

Film Series Translating. Work and Days.

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Übersetzen. Werke und Tage: Ganna-Maria Braungardt

Ganna-Maria Braungardt was born into a family of actors in Crimmitschau in 1956, but never wanted to become an actress herself. She went to the USSR, studied Slavic studies and was hired as an editor for Soviet literature at the Volk und Welt publishing house in 1984. "A dream job," she recalls today. Soon Ganna began translating as well: The editor and translator Thomas Reschke arranged the younger colleague's first translation assignments and showed her solidarity as a mentor. When reunification meant that everyone at the publishing house was laid off, Ganna didn't want to give up her profession. Now she was also the one who helped the older GDR colleagues adapt to the new working conditions as a mentor. Ganna-Maria Braungardt made a name for herself as a translator from Russian. She has translated, among others, Svetlana Alexeyevich and Lyudmila Ulitskaya. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, she sees her work as even more important: "We are no less in demand today, indeed we are perhaps even more in demand as mediators," she said on 29.03.22 on WDR Kultur.

Filmstill: Ganna-Maria Braungardt

The series Translating. Work and Days portrays ten translators of different generations who talk about their lives and their work. All of them translate into German from Slavic languages. In the 9 films, Ganna-Maria Braungardt, Claudia Dathe, Christiane Körner, Gabriele Leupold, Aljonna Möckel, Thomas Reschke, Rosemarie Tietze, Thomas Weiler, as well as the duo Günter Hirt & Sascha Wonders alias Sabine Hänsgen and Georg Witte, all speak to us. Their accounts of origins, encounters, discoveries, and experiences are set against the backdrop of photographic documents. Personal histories are told against the background of greater history. The series was in the process of being made when Russia began its large scale invasion of Ukraine on the 24th February 2022. Thus the last intermediate chapter in the films came into being: The War.


Idea, Director, Producer: Anna Shibarova
Camera, Sound and Editing: Elizaveta Snagovskaia
English subtitles: David Drevs, James Cohen ©2023

The series “Translating. Work and Days” was funded by the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds through the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media’s NEUSTART KULTUR programme. The video-portraits will be published at regular intervals from July 2023.

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