This article develops a theory of nation form as translational, referring to the praxis of re-presenting and thus rendering sensible the nation through an examination of the Tongnip Kinyŏmkwan (Independence Hall of Korea), a national museum designed to commemorate Korea’s anticolonial resistance efforts and its independence from the Japanese Empire in 1945. Translation in the context of this article alludes to the praxis of re-presenting and thus reconstituting the nation through what Rancière calls “the distribution of the sensible.” The Hall, in other words, suggests that the nation does not matter unto itself but rather that it is in such moments of articulation and sensibility that the nation is hailed into existence. This article makes the argument that the interactional outcomes between visitors and the Independence Hall direct us toward an interpretation of the Hall as a space of enactment of the translational nation, which refers to a re-formation of nation through translation across interrelated matrices including text, trauma, and time. This translational praxis, understood in the context of the interplay between state-sponsored zeal and popular anemia, centers on the translation of communicative text into theatrical text, somber tragedy into diluted play, and discrete historical events into a posthistorical genealogy.

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