Exploring Languages in Urban Spaces




Developed and run by Canan Marasligil, City in Translation is a project exploring languages in urban spaces, focusing on individual cities and their specificity with regard to language diversity.

This website has been created as part of this ongoing exploration of how languages appear in urban spaces. The project has started thanks to the Culture@Work Writer's Residency at the University of Copenhagen (IKK, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies) in April-May 2015, where Canan focused on the city of Copenhagen to start her research around the "City in Translation". 

Since its inception, City in Translation has travelled across Europe and beyond. The current website presents outcomes from various activities:

The site is organised around Fictions and Resources, providing complimentary perspectives. 

  • Fictions features creative writing and other expressions by Canan Marasligil,

  • Resources provides a collection of material from within and outside academia aiming to contextualise the work of this project and aid in future research.

More cities and the theme of City in Translation are being explored on a daily basis on Instagram.

about the author

Canan Marasligil is a writer, literary translator, editor and curator based in Amsterdam. She works internationally on a variety of literary and cultural projects. She reads, writes, speaks, thinks, dreams in different languages. Her primary interest is in challenging official narratives and advocating freedom of expression through different creative processes, using various media, online and offline.

Canan has worked with cultural organisations across wider Europe and has participated to residencies: as translator in residence at the Free Word Centre in London (2013), as a cultural journalist at WAAW in Senegal (2015), at Copenhagen University to start working on “City in Translation”, exploring languages in urban spaces, at La Contre Allée, in Lille (2017), at Lancaster University (2018) and in the Bassin Minier with Mine de Culture(s) (2018-19).

Translation is at the centre of everything I do, including how I approach cities. I take languages and the city’s public space as a starting point to explore how the process of translation takes place and how people interact with the languages in their city. This vibrant and interactive multilingualism throughout urban landscapes is a central feature to how we imagine the future of our cities and part of how we want to build communities.

about University of Copenhagen

The Department of Arts and Cultural Studies (IKK) of the University of Copenhagen encompasses international research and education from undergraduate to PhD-level within the subjects of Dance Studies, Art History, Comparative Literature, Modern Culture, Musicology, Theatre and Performance Studies and Visual Culture. 

The Department is focused on developing new formats for practice-based research training in the creative sector, mainly on art practices, curatorial practices, NGO-activities and pedagogical practices. These new training formats are specifically directed at tapping into the innovative potential of creative practices.

about Culture@Work 

The Culture@Work Project, initiated by the Lisbon Consortium and co-funded by the Culture Programme of the European Union, aims to develop an international platform for the circulation of artistic work and for the collaborative training of professionals in the cultural sector. 

Culture@Work brings together three stakeholders in the field of academia, the arts and culture : 


Thank you for your interest in City in Translation.

The purpose of this project is to open up to as many people as possible, sharing and learning with and from a wide variety of practitioners interested in the issues around translation and urban spaces. In order to facilitate the exchange and creation of knowledge around the topics at the centre of City in Translation, here are a few guidelines: 

  • If you wish to use any content published on this website, you can do so making sure you follow the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

  • I will always make efforts to share content that falls under this licence, but it may happen that some will be copyrighted material I have received permission to use only on this website. In this case, any content published on City in Translation that does not fall under the aforementioned Creative Commons licence is clearly noted with a copyright sign and needs prior permission before any use (commercial or non-commercial).

  • If you have any doubt about whether you can use content or not, do get in touch with Canan Marasligil.


Website by Canan Marasligil/Studio Zeytin (powered by Squarespace). 

Writing and editing: Canan Marasligil

Header images by Canan Marasligil

The research phase of City in Translation has been possible with the support of Culture@Work and the University of Copenhagen. Special thanks to Kristin Veel and Frederik Tygstrup at the University of Copenhagen and Daniela Agostinho at the Catholic University of Portugal.