What insights about the idea of ‘translation’ might be gleaned from thinking about it not only in performance, but itself as a kind of performance? Nicholas Arnold, following last week’s ‘Re-’ Interdisciplinary Network symposium on ‘Translation as Performance’, was prompted to reflect on the multicultural and multilingual shows and audiences that have characterized international theatre festivals since the 1960s – including his own productions.
This analysis of ‘socialist bromance’ humour can’t take us far enough to argue that it contributes to the liberalisation of public discourse in China. But we can say that socialist terminology no longer belongs exclusively in its original official field. For what we see here is that the very iteration of ideology imposed by political authorities through language is starting to cause its own demise, bringing inevitable changes to its politically persuasive power.