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.
Originating from multiple conversations with researchers, artists, artworks, texts, institutions or schools, Qalqalah قلقلة welcomes contributors who are committed to the articulation of artistic, political and social issues. More than a publishing space, Qalqalah قلقلة is conceived as a place of attachments, where one can cultivate long-lasting friendships, generative connections and multiple affections. Mothers, sisters, accomplices and lovers all have their place in it, just as much as philosophers, art laborers and Sci-Fi heroines. Aware of the precariousness at play in the artworld of which it stems, Qalqalah قلقلة strives, within its means, to create and share resources, including economical ones, with its contributors.
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.
In the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, qalqalah signifies “to sneakily obtain an information”. In Kazakh, қал қалай? (pronounced qal-qalai) is a greeting expression, similar to “how are you doing?”. In Farsi, Qelqelak قلقلک means “to tickle”.