Qalqalah قلقلة is an editorial and curatorial platform dedicated to the production, translation and circulation of artistic, theoretical and literary research in three languages: French, Arabic and English. Founded in 2018 in France, in the midst of a political and intellectual context, and a media coverage marked by reactionary, authoritarian and discriminatory speeches and acts, Qalqalah قلقلة asserts a feminist, inclusive and intersectional stance. It relies on translation as a tool for the production and reception of situated knowledge, capable of making visible the relations of power and the possibilities of invention and affection that are at play between languages, temporalities and contexts that are marked by the colonial legacy, conflicts and contemporary revolts.
Qalqalah قلقلة borrows its name from the main character of two short-stories written by the Egyptian curator and researcher Sarah Rifky. The protagonist, Qalqalah, is an artist and linguist, living in a near-future in which the notions of language, art, economy and nation have silently collapsed, She develops her poetical and political reflections around languages and their imaginative power - that of telling the world differently in order to transform it. In this perspective, the multiple meanings of the Arabic word qalqalah - “a movement in language, a phonetical vibration, a bounce or an echo” according to Sarah Rifky - resonate, for us, as possible tactics of navigation.
Qalqalah قلقلة takes roots in the eponymous online review, co-founded in 2015 by Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research and KADIST, to which Virginie Bobin and Victorine Grataloup actively contributed. The review ceased to exist in the Spring of 2018, after the release of 3 issues, featuring contributions by 22 international artists and writers. During its 3 years of existence, the review established a precious body of bilingual texts (French/English) with shared preoccupations: allowing the circulation of voices and ideas that are too seldom distributed in France and vice-versa; questioning homogenous cultural narratives and encourage subjective re-readings of works, documents, collections, artistic or historical figures; or rethinking the relationships between “the local” and “the global”.