A statement from the Society of Authors and the Translators Association.
When the SoA planned a week-long series of events around this year’s Translation Prizes, the aim was for it to be an exciting celebration of translation.
However, the events announced did not reflect the diversity of the translator community or properly represent the issues that are important to it.
It became clear from comments received and discussions between the SoA and the TA Committee that the TA @ Home Festival could not go ahead in its current format.
The Translation Prizes winners’ announcement will take place as planned on Thursday 11 February. But we will postpone the rest of the week’s events.
This will give us time to reflect, discuss, redesign, and reschedule them for June.
What this means
As the SoA staff team, we are working hard to become more inclusive. We are committed and we know we are heading in the right direction, but we have a long way to go. We need to have the right conversations and not leave assumptions unchallenged. When we don’t do that, we risk getting things wrong, as we did on this occasion.
As translators and authors, we need to know that the organisation that represents us can represent us accurately in the activities it plans. When that does not happen, we need to know we can have the open discussions it will take to put it right, as we have been able to do this week.
We look forward to developing an exciting and genuinely representative TA @ Home Festival line-up for June 2021. We will do so collaboratively, with the full involvement both of SoA staff and the TA Committee, and a greater sensitivity to the issues that are important to the translator community.
Thank you to everyone who contacted the TA or SoA to express their feelings about these events. This will help us to become more aware of what we can all do to improve the way we plan and promote such events in future.