Dobrochna Futro


Research title

Translanguaging art: Investigation into multilingual practices of contemporary artists and their implications for language pedagogy

Research summary

In my interdisciplinary PhD thesis I explore the possibility to use insight gained from researching how contemporary art engages with multilingualism to design new approaches to language learning and develop resources for teaching Polish language in Scottish primary schools.

I study how works by the Polish-born artists Małgorzata Dawidek, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Monika Szydłowska create different spaces of learning through their engagement with languaging in migratory contexts and use my findings to develop a pedagogical model that will be piloted with young learners of Polish in a Scottish primary school but will be applicable across other languages.

Polish is now, after English, the most commonly spoken language in Scottish schools and my project will result in providing teachers with resources for teaching Polish in a multilingual and multicultural context.

I explore research into multilingualism as it is undertaken by contemporary artists and evaluate its potential for language pedagogy, test affordances of an art-centred, indigenous and multilingual investigation into multimodal and intra-modal code-switching practices of contemporary artists and examine what (and how) we can learn about multilingualism from art that combines languages with other artistic means of expression.

I employ the concept of art practice-as-research and art-as-pedagogy and situate my research within the framework of translanguaging, migratory aesthetics, and critical indigenous pedagogy.

Higher Education
PhD in Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Glasgow (in progress)
MA in History of Art, University College London
MA in Polish Philology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Extramural Research Diploma in Arts Management, Birkbeck College, University of London


  • AHRC DTP Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities Studentship, 2018 -
  • Ella Maxwell Travel Scholarship, 2018
  • Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities, Cohort Development Fund Award for the training workshop on the art methods in language learning (with Marta Nitecka-Barche & Deirdre MacKenna), 2018
  • Glasgow University College of Arts, Student Travel Award, 2018
  • Oxford University OxTalents Award for the Best Research Poster (with Arno Bosse & Miranda Lewis), 2014
  • Oxford University Social Enterprise Award, funding for GRANDA, an educational project and a book created with Polish children, 2013 
  • Comic Relief/ Oxfordshire Community Foundation, funding for Hogacre Kids Community Project, 2013
  • Visegrad Fund, 2 VARP Grants for MPRA, International Artist-in-Residence Programme, 2012
  • City of Poznan and Wielkopolska Marshal Office Grants for MPRA, International Artist-in-Residence Programme, 2012
  • City of Poznan and Wielkopolska Marshal Office Grants for MPRA, International Artist-in-Residence Programme, 2011
  • Arts Gateway MK Grant for Parallax Offsite MK, symposium, exhibition and a series of art interventions at Milton Keynes Gallery, 2010


  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging Art. Across languages and modes in Monika Szydłowska’s ‘Do you miss your country?’. Paper to be presented at the Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing conference organised by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) in collaboration with the AHRC Open World Research Initiative project ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’, Translingual Strand, Senate House, University of London, 30-31 May 2019
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Pickled gherkins, father throats and a nose as a site of resistance in the Slavic and Turkic languages. Aesthetics and activism in the work of Slavs & Tatars.' Paper presented at the  Performing Multilingualism in World Literatures: Aesthetics and Activism Conference, University of Oxford, 20-22 September 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging or translanguaged? The politics of language in selected works by Krzysztof Wodiczko'. Paper to be presented at the Language, Translation, and Migration: Conference and Public Summit 2018, University of Warwick, 24-26 May 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging art. Recreating Kristevan thetic space as a space of learning. Paper with an experiential coda to be presented at the UNESCO Spring School, The Arts of Integrating: Stories of Refugee Hospitality and Agency,  9-11 May 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging Art. Situating the relationship between language and multilingual identity within the context of contemporary art'. Paper presented at the Creative Multilingualism Conference 2018: Creative Multilingual Identities, Institute of Education, University of Reading, 2-3 February 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging art'. Paper presented at the Multilingualisms in World Literature Conference, SOAS, University of London, 18-20 January 2018



Additional information

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