Lust, in Translation


Promiscuity, dating tips, how to find a husband, what red shoes really mean, infections, being sexually exploited, ugly rich guys getting beautiful girls, cars as symbols of virility, how to pull on Plymouth Hoe, the importance of kissing, the madness of being in love, loneliness, risk-taking, how to get someone to fancy you…


From November 2010 to April 2011, Effervescent artists spent a total of one hundred days in the company of thirty-five young people aged 16 – 25, twenty-six older people aged 50 – 87, five adult volunteers, three museum professionals, and seven youth workers from Plymouth, with only one thing on our minds: sex.


Provoking challenging and giggly inter-generational dialogue mediated with calming cups of tea; initiating inflammatory ideas-generating activities such as dressing-up games, photographic assignments, choreographic tasks and biggest-poser competitions; as well as exploring objects and documents from the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth and West Devon Record Office and the Wellcome Trust’s collection of erotica, we asked ourselves:


What questions about contemporary society and ourselves do these objects provoke?


What do we want to say about sex right now?


Who do we want to say it to?


What re the most effective narrative, filmic, aural and visual ideas we can use to translate these ideas into short snappy media treats?


The four films conceived in this project were wholly devised and created by the project participants, and are the results of a collective two thousand hours of voluntary face-to-face and digital participation.


Transformation: This challenging, stimulating, extraordinary piece of work has made a real difference to people’s lives, connecting people who felt isolated, improving the confidence of people who felt shy, and giving a positive learning experience to people accustomed to being disengaged from or disappointed by formal education.  Lust, in Translation versions 2 and 3 are now in development for community and probation settings.