Salon 2: March 2, 2020: A “reariting” centered on “Extra-terrestrial Rhetoric”, a multimedia text by Lily Robert-Foley.

Abstract (in English): 

The second of the monthly 2020 Virtual ELO Salons was held via Zoom on Tuesday, March  10.  Dutch artist and writer Annie Abrahams (living in France), who had volunteered to facilitate the second ELO Virtual Salon, proposed a “reariting” session using Zoom and the collaborative writing environment Framapad centered on “Extra-terrestrial Rhetoric,” a multimedia text by Lily Robert-Foley a writer and translator who is an active member of Outranspo: a motley group of multilingual translators, writers, researchers and musicians who joyously devote themselves to creative approaches to translation, primarily through monthly virtual meetings.


Explaining why she proposed this text and a “reariting” approach to it, Abrahams commented, “‘reariting’ is the act of simultaneous reading and writing together on the Internet. This session, which is based on the ideas explored in my Reading Club project that I developed with Emmanuel Guez, is not about producing a text together, but about using ‘reariting’ as a technique to think through a text together.  In the process we will produce a new text with an undetermined status that we will collectively discuss after our rewriting session.” 


To facilitate the session, Abrahams, via the group Zoom call, first briefly introduced Robert-Foley’s work and then sent the essay “Extra-terrestrial Rhetoric” to each of he participants via e-mail.  The text, a four page document that, at first, appears to be an academic article about translation strategies, slowly reveals itself as something that may not be what it at first appears to be.  With time, the reader becomes aware that if what they are reading is an academic article it is quite unlike anything they have read before. Each participant read the text and then “met” up in the Framapad collaborative writing environment, where they explained and explored their understandings, misunderstandings, reactions to, and asides related to the text they had just read.  After one hour, the participants reconnected on Zoom to review, discuss, and evaluate the experience, the process, and the results.

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Hannah Ackermans