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Oddly enough perhaps, the rise of the creative industries in the 1970s did not start with a commercial appetite. It started with a mass wave of desire for popular culture, so enormous and insatiable that the consumption of that culture could not be satisfied fast enough. Leading agents in the cultural sector such as André Malraux or Krzysztof Przeclawski, in their own country and internationally, thus claimed that “a refusal to engage with this commercial sector [… was] elitist and irresponsible” (O’Connor 2011: 27) and acted to change policies. As music and the visual arts became recorded and stockpiled for consumption on an unprecedented scale, and as the participatory scene of live events blossomed, commercial industries became dominant. Introducing the first global map of cultural and creative industries, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO (2015: 5) estimated that these industries represented “US$2,250b and nearly 30 million jobs worldwide [… and were] drivers of the economies of developed as well as developing countries.” The effect on all aspects of the translation sector have been quantitatively massive, and translation has played a major part in ensuring that global and local are mutually constitutive of cultural products and processes. It has also liberated the concept and the practices of translation into wider, more creative fields of transformation.

This issue, edited and introduced by Dionysios Kapsaskis, gives a taste of the multifarious roles of translation and its agents in the 21st century. It opens with Zoe Moores’ transcribed interview of Dan McIntyre who discussed on how translation and subtitling impact on style.

After a practitioner’s perspective on transcreation (Benetello), a glimpse of the broad spectrum of transfers is offered: transcreative mediations (Sidiropoulou; Morón and Calvo); film, song or video games adaptation as creative practice (Perdikaki; Dong and Mangiron; Mus); other art forms in translation (Liao; Deganutti, Parish and Rowley; Cabrera); and accessibility for performance (Di Giovanni; Zabroka). Video interviews are also available, with Grzegorz Pawlowski and Marek Gralewski discussing the working conditions of translators and interpreters in Poland, while David Katan investigates how culture impacts on translation and vice-versa.  

Happy reading and viewing!


Bokova, Irina (2015). Cultural Times. The first global map of cultural and creative industries (consulted 23.10.2017)

0’Connor, Justin (2011). “The Cultural and Creative Industries: a critical history.” Ekonomiaz 78 (3), 25-45.

Lucile Desblache