If From Every Tongue it Drips

June 17 ,  8:00 pm

All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Sharlene Bamboat

ASL Interpretation
Self Assessment
Reduced Capacity


[Dear Sharlene, 


I was hoping to play with the notion of translation in your essay. I watched an interview with you describing If From Every Tongue it Drips and took notes. I then used voice to text to translate my written notes into digital form. I’d like to use these as the essay. The result is a sort of run-on sentence note taking based on your interview. This has been copy edited for any glaring flags. I’m hoping it will once again pass through you…


Hey Jaclyn, 


Thanks for sending this. I really love the idea of all the different forms of translation - me through you through voice to text through editors etc….]


Colonialism - 19C Queer Poetry - Quantum Entanglement 



How certain histories get written out

How the ones that stay are predominantly male-driven 

Rebellion in 1850s started the Indian national movement it led to the creation of many different countries and was rooted in the purification of the arts and queerness through the arts what does that mean for us today?


19th-century queer poetry:

Navigate language, translation in queerness, coming from a very specific time in south Asia


Not many people who study Urdu poetry know about Rekhti poetry at the time intimacy between women was explored and has been historically sanitized since then


The poetry itself was translated multiple times:


Urdu script translated into English (Sharlene can read Urdu script and because it was written in the 19th century she couldn't understand it well)


From the English translation someone translated it back into Urdu but not script


Two characters in the film speak Tamil, and so it was translated into Tamil


It was in translated back into English in order to make a Hindi translation, but the Hindi speaker could not read it


Editor who is Palestinian could read Arabic and so hard to read the Urdu script but cannot understand the words


[Sharlene’s comment: I can read Urdu. I only had access to the English translation of the poems which in a book by Ruth Vanita called "Gender, Sex and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry." I then got a translator to translate the English version of the Urdu poems back to Urdu (in Urdu script as well as into roman script). I had to do roman script because Ponni can speak Urdu, but cannot read it, so when she was reading the poems it had to be in roman script.

It was then translated into Tamil by Ponni (which is her mother tongue).

The editor's mother tongue is Arabic and so he could read the Urdu script but not understand it, aside from a few words here and there.

Jaclyn’s Response: ok this is very helpful, I may have misinterpreted what was said in the interview. Thanks! ]


Quantum Entanglement:

Series of being together and apart here in their existing simultaneously

diasporic position as a Pakistani-Canadian, connecting simultaneously 

during the pandemic 

through space and time, and simultaneous 


The sound designer’s name is Richy Carey


Videos of daily life were taken in Sri Lanka and put into a dropbox or sent over WhatsApp snippets of these daily life taken by two friends and used in the film


The video was made in Sri Lanka sound in Scotland and Montreal became a listening exercise of recording sent from different positions both embodied geographically and mixed into the film. A lot of the sound was recorded before the storm was made, or the filming was done


[Sharlene’s comment: There’s no storm…


Jaclyn’s response: this should read “film” but Siri must have misheard]


Captions were made before the film was put together at least considered in this way


The history and queerness events that happened affect us today it is a non-narrative filmmaking nonlinear time, intuitive ways of moving through time and space, 150 years ago still affects us today. There’s an audio synchronous sound, text and image Dash frames sound on frames time history and relationality


Poetry is important because it is the form of non-narrative “i’m also drawn to language because I speak so many half languages” this is the diasporic tongue


This film is about translation and so many people working on the film speak one  and a half languages Sharlene included, 


[Sharlene’s comment: most of the people involved in the film speak 2 or more languages, half & not half.]


the question became how to navigate that in and of itself. 


You can see that also in the captions. The caption became another mode of translation not just for the hard of hearing and deaf audiences but for those who don't have a context for some of the subject matter. It is in a sense contextual translation. Formal approach is queer in and of itself. Found footage, research queers how we talk about time, and film debunks linear time: it is queer in format. How do we understand each other between words and sentences/phrases? Sharlene feels poetry does the same thing. How do we navigate? Translate? Remember all at once?


— This program is part of the suite ok to rest curated by Jaclyn Quaresma.


If From Every Tongue it Drips

Sharlene Bamboat


If From Every Tongue it Drips is an experimental documentary film that explores questions of distance and proximity, identity, and otherness, through scenes from the daily interactions between two queer women—a poet and a cameraperson—living in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Made between Scotland, Sri Lanka, and Canada, and connected through languages (Urdu, Tamil, and English), personal and national histories, music, and dance, the film explores subjects both expansively cosmic and intimately close—from quantum superposition to the links between British colonialism and Indian nationalism.


  • Sharlene Bamboat (1984, Pakistan) is a moving image and installation artist based in Tio’ta:ke/Montreal.

    Her practice often engages with translation, history, and music, uncovering sensory and fractured ways of knowing. Sharlene regularly collaborates with artists, musicians, and writers to animate historical, political, legal, and pop-culture materials. Sharlene has screened and exhibited internationally.


Co-presented with

  • York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design

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  • York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design
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  • Digital Arts Ressource Centre
  • The Japan Foundation
  • The Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film
  • CalArts
  • Art Museum

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