Antena has organized, interpreted, curated, and/or created many multilingual spaces since it was founded in 2010. Antena has worked in partnership with various community organizing projects, non-profit organizations and arts organizations in the United States and abroad. Some of these collaborations are temporary (for conferences, events, etc.) and others are on-going. In particular, we work on an on-going basis with various organizations in the city of Houston, where John Pluecker currently resides; some of these organizations are: the Fe y Justicia Workers’ Center, La Colmena (an organization of domestic workers), Rothko Chapel and the Art League of Houston.
We are proud to use the BabelBox, an interpretation system that works like a basic transistor radio; this equipment enables us to use available radio frequencies to provide simultaneous interpretation to many different groups at once, with up to 150 people or more. Simultaneous interpreting equipment is a tool to foster smooth and direct communication across languages, with as little foregrounding of the interpreting process as possible. Typically, this is accomplished with a transmitter into which the interpreter speaks while individuals listen on portable receivers. Normally, this interpreting equipment would be quite expensive, far out of the reach of small organizations or community groups. The BabelBox has made this expensive technology much more affordable and accessible by harnessing radio technology.
The BabelBox is designed, produced and sold by the Intergalactic Interpretation Cooperative, a group of engineers and interpreters based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who believe that communication is key to building strong movements for change. The BabelBox is the culmination of years of work for communication and language access in social movements.