We had started talking about the idea of founding a scientific research cooperative and shortly afterwards, everything developed rapidly. It is possible to say that our story got its spark from an idea within life, from an “arche”. We are a group of readers-writers of translations and researchers whose scientific curiosity and interests are highly related with “all phenomena surrounding and involving translation”. In the autumn of 2013, we started off a journey during which we hope to co-create new spaces and new possibilities for scientific research and to seek answers to questions that are more efficiently reflecting the circumstances of the social grounds that we stand on.
As a group we have a wide variety of interests; such as, literature, philosophy, cognitive processes in language competence, community interpreting, sociology of translation, Kafkaesque analyses, women writing, translation of EU legislation, translation technologies, habituses of translators, translation processes within social movements, legal translation, occupational standards for translation and sports translation. And, with this multiplicity we hope to contribute to the structures that we are in and/or out.
Our early gatherings and talks showed that -since we were willing to work, produce and share within a structure that has a non-hierarchical character- the most appropriate organisation type would be a cooperative. The existing institutions in the field of scientific research were not supporting such a structure of horizontal organisation and collective labour.
We started having regular meetings and our main debate topic was always the social dimensions of scientific studies and their reflections on the social processes. At first, these meetings were more like gatherings of exchanging views and ideas. However, in time, they turned into collective working sessions where we planned our projects in detail, sought venues and areas to implement them and got into contact with individuals and institutions that we would like to cooperate with. We are certain that theory and practice are parts of an inseparable whole. In this regard, we believe that intellectual processes are nourished by the life itself and social dynamics have continuous interactions between each other, and thus, we will be formulating our research questions with such an approach and in such a context.
In practice, we are expecting to come up with new problematical questions and while searching for solutions to those questions we will make an effort to contribute to the world we are living in (to individuals, society and the whole life together with all living creatures and nature) within the scope of universal rights and freedoms.
After a brainstorming session, we agreed on ‘BilArk’ as the Turkish acronym for our institutions’ name (“Bilimsel Araştırma, Eğitim ve Uygulama Kooperatifi” ), and there, we realized that the word “arche” (“arkhe” in Turkish), which resembles the emergence of knowledge from and within life, had already -either accidentally or not-, penetrated into it as “Ark”. We, the BILARK members, believe that scientific knowledge evolves and multiplies only when it is shared and only then it can transform individuals, societies and nature for the sake of individuals, societies and nature. With such an understanding BILARK started its journey willing to become a component of a field of scientific studies which is against all kinds of discrimination, respectful to universal rights and freedoms and to lives of all living creatures and nature, democratic, transparent and sharing and self-transforming. We hope that it will be a long-lasting journey that lets us walk the path together with many others.
Our story continues…