There have been some good blog posts recently on the topic of LAMs – “Look At Me” interpreters. Gird your loins before reading Ariel Baker-Gibbs’s When the interpreter is taking selfies on-stage. For theatre interpreters, there’s We are (not) rockstars: honouring the performance without overpowering it by Auslan Stage Left.
I’ve talked before about how uncomfortable I am with interpreters being the public face of signed languages and my irritation at the media discourse on sign language interpreting being reliably off the mark. In recent discussions with colleagues, there have been several references to unease about interpreters using social media to show off their relationship (however brief and tangential) with “celebrities” they interpret for, posting on-stage photos of themselves at work in which the Deaf community is completely invisible, even if no overt guidance about confidentiality has technically been breached.
It’s very easy to criticise. But after I’d read the articles above, I asked myself if I’d ever been a Look At Me interpreter. Honestly? Yes, I have, and I regret it. It’s insidious.