Category Archives: Photo Essay

Map and territory: LIFE TRANSLATED FOR OTHERS (3)

by Santiago Barcaza S.

When the Nobel Prize was given to Beckett, the Swedish Academy considered the set of its texts in English and French as a single work and at the award ceremony, its dedication to “one man, two languages ​​and a third nation” [ Ireland]”.

Beckett is the self-translator who has received more attention and more studies have been done since he was the first to arouse interest in self-translation as a subject of study (Cohn, 1961). The anecdote is the following: the impossibility of finding an English publisher for his texts, considered at the time as untranslatable, caused the author to translate into French his work Murphy, written in English and published in 1938. From 1946, Beckett writes only in French, something that is quite difficult for him, and he translates himself into English. The recognition comes in 1953, year of the appearance of En attendant Godot and Trilogie. The self-translation into English of the first, Waiting for Godot, appears a year later, in 1954, when it is reconciled with the English language. From that moment on, he continues writing in both languages ​​and exchanging the directions of the self-translation.

By the way, to the question, why self-translate? It is not difficult to understand the eagerness of authors like Tagore or Beckett to reach more readers, to ambition as soon as possible a place in the history of universal literature. But there is also another literature. There is a literature that comes from the bosom of cultures that resist extinction, languages ​​that do not give ground to the languages ​​of the colonizers.

odi gonzales
The poet Odi Gonzales

I held a conversation with Odi Gonzales (Cuzco, 1961), poet, translator, self-translator, professor and researcher at NYU, where among other topics we spoke about the Quechua language and its resistance. Here are some fragments of that conversation:

“In a language in danger of extinction, the passage of time will always generate profits and losses. For example, the advent of technological devices and the Internet allow you to communicate with monolingual children from a rural school in the Andes and record the conversation; or make documentaries, movies, photography, etcetera. These records are documents that will not be deleted, they will survive the speakers themselves. That is a gain. But at the same time, these media, with hegemony in Castilian or English, are undermining the speech of monolinguals or bilinguals, who tend to use more the acquired language, to incorporate neologisms into their lexicon”.

And with regard to the orality of the Quechua language, he tells us:

“For example, in the Quechua oral stories, there is no omniscient narrator, since that would make the story implausible: the narrator can not be in two places at once, or know what his characters think. On the other hand, in writing [in the dominant language], the omniscient narrator is crucial, indispensable. Likewise, we believed that Joyce had invented the interior monologue in Ulysses, that paradigm of the modern novel. But the truth is that internal monologue is common practice of oral languages. In Quechua, it is configured exclusively with the pronoun us (ñoqayku), which involves the narrator and his immediate surroundings. The poet speaks for himself and for his own, not for others. The great difference between the interior monologue of a foxs tale and that of Ulysses, is the extension. By its nature, the inner monologue of an oral story is short, precise and concrete, composed only a sentence or two. Instead, Bloom’s inner monologue is a 42-page stream”.

(You can check the complete interview in Spanish here)

With Quechua, Odi talks to us about a kind of oraliture (?). The translations come and go, from the first to the second language and vice versa, and in the turns the words are polished together like stones. As explained by Odi, oral literature as an artistic expression of the Andean cosmovision, marks a cultural continuity between what has been and what it is today. Authors who live in communities and in cities, who permanently travel the path between both spaces. Making their lives territory of coexistence and conflict: between tradition and modernity, between the community and the individual, between the original language and the imposed language. But at the same time, translating, or rather self-translating, the complex message that is transmitted from the oral to the written, and vice versa. Because after all, how do you create a literature that is not written?

Map and territory. A fictitious and real construction at the same time, by authors descendants of peoples and subjugated cultures. A fiction that delimits a territory with diffuse borders, with authors whose mother tongue is the dominant one, but who possess the strength to fulfill the mission of not turning their back on their ancestors.

In the next installment, we will approach the work of Mapuche poets, from the Kenyan Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and we will follow the dialogue with Rodrigo Rojas.

Advertisements

CLACS Faculty Pamela Calla Wins Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is with great honor that we share with the #CLACSatNYU community that our faculty member Pamela Calla recently won the Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, leadership, social justice advocacy, and community building.

Professor Calla is a distinguished anthropologist, cherished member of the #CLACSatNYU community, and a mentor to many of our students. She grew up in a mining town in southern Bolivia. Her understanding and construction of collaborative political, pedagogical and research approaches dealing with difference and inequality were shaped by this life experience.

Before coming to CLACS at NYU, she was the co-founder and director of the Bolivian Observatory on Racism. This observatory had the mandate of research, capacity-building, and grassroots action against current manifestations of racism. She was later co-founder and co-coordinator of the “Red de Investigación Acción Anti Racista en las Américas,” an initiative which linked organizations with similar mandates across the Americas, as well as focused on capacity-building and comparative-action research in the creation of pertinent anti-racist strategies.

Professor Calla’s research has also focused on indigenous women in social movements in Latin America. Black feminism’s intersectional analysis and Chicana feminism’s border analysis in the U.S. became crucial to her action-research with indigenous women in Bolivia. This experience led to the co-creation, alongside colleagues and students, of a working group on Feminist Constellations and Intercultural Paradigms at CLACS. She is now writing a book, “Indigenous women and the hegemony of a cultural revolution in Bolivia.”

We are honored to have Professor Pamela Calla at #CLACSatNYU and celebrate her achievements and the positive impact she continues to have among our students.

¡Felicidades profesora!

An Address by the President of Paraguay

On September 29th, the Center for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies partnered with the office of the President of NYU, and the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement (NYU Law), for a presentation by the President of Paraguay H.E. Horacio Cartes. The event, hosted at the New York University School of Law, D’Agostino Hall, gave a unique opportunity to members of the NYU community to listen to a Latin American head of state’s vision for his country. Students, faculty, media, and members of the Paraguayan community in New York, filled the 135 seat capacity room to hear about President Cartes’s proposals for making Paraguay “A Land of Opportunity,” as his presentation’s title stated. President Cartes also answered questions from the audience in a session moderated by Jorge Castañeda, Global Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU.

Photos by ©NYU Photo Bureau: Hollenshead

Farewell 2014-2015 CLACS Cohort

Yesterday the CLACS 2014-2015 cohort presented their final projects of the Masters’ program. With the guidance and support of the Faculty, the students presented on a vast array of disciplines, from anthropology and journalism to literature and museology, providing an innovative look at topics related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies with impressive depth. Their research covered topics such as Quechua linguistics, gentrification in Ecuador, hipster culture in Cuba, the Palestinian migrant experience in Honduras, Afro-Mexican identity, diasporic Guatemalan literature, Chinese commerce in indigenous territories in Central America, among others. For the complete list of research projects, click here.

We are very proud of their accomplishments, and wish them all the best on what we are sure will be a successful future!

On “The Cuban Moment”

On “The Cuban Moment: Conversatorio on Cuba”

By Patrick Moreno-Covington

On December 17th President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Head of State, Raúl Castro, made simultaneous announcements of a diplomatic normalization in the relationship between the United States and Cuba. The surprise announcement was the culmination of 18 months of backroom negotiations between the two governments. As part of the new agreement the United States removes or reduces restrictions on travel, remittances, and banking, while Cuba has promised increased internet access, and the release of 53 people identified as political prisoners.

In the first of a series of discussions on Cuba planned by CLACS and the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, a distinguished panel of guests discussed the implications of the new agreement, recent experiences in Cuba, and the potential for a new “Cuban Moment.” The panel, gathered on January 28 at the KJCC Auditorium, included renowned Cuba scholars Odette Casamayor Cisneros, Ariana Hernández-Reguant, Jacqueline Loss, and Noelle Stout, the author Enrique del Risco, artist Coco Fusco, Damien Cave of the New York Times, and Ana Dopico, director of the King Juan Carlos Center, moderated by Jill Lane, director of CLACS.

In a packed house, each speaker had the opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives from their respective fields of expertise. One common thread through each of the presentations was that this “Moment” was not singular or particularly unique in Cuban history. For many on the panel, the opening of diplomatic relations reflects an “American Moment,” one moment in a cyclical period where the American populace has their collective imagination focused on the Caribbean island once again. Another common theme between the panelists was a sense of reserved optimism for the improvement in opportunities for the majority of Cubans. Many on the panel acknowledged that an increase in American banking opportunities, remittances, and the potential to import more foreign goods, could exacerbate existing forms of inequality. In this regard, this “Cuban Moment” could be a repetition of the many previous Cuban moments, as well as potentialities that have yet to be fulfilled.

Below are some pictures of The Cuban Moment: Conversatorio on Cuba.

To stay up to date with our Cuban Moment Series, follow CLACS on Facebook and Twitter. Join our mailing list for updates on all CLACS events. 

When Governments Kill Their Students: México Now

Scholars, artists, students, activists, and the public gathered for a Teach-In to explore the current crisis in México––and the role that U.S. policy has played in its creation.

Invited participants included Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir, The Illuminator Collective, Greg Grandin, Macarena Gomez-Barris, Gerardo Renique, Diana Taylor, Christy Thornton, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Isabel Gil Everaert, Rossana Reguillo, Antonio Zúñiga, Juan Carlos Ruiz, Marcial Godoy-Anativia.

This event was co-sponsored by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, the Critical Tactics Lab (CTL), the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU , and the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA).

Photos by José RAúl Guzmán CLACS MA Candidate

Álvaro García Linera, Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Visits CLACS

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies warmly welcomed the Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Álvaro García Linera, as he discussed the process of building Bolivia’s political progress over ten years with Jorge Castañeda, NYU Global Distinguished Professor of Politics, having moderated the event.

Álvaro García Linera has been Vice President to Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous President, since 2006. A mathematician, empiric sociologist, former leader with the Ejercito Guerrillero Tupaj Katari (Guerrila Army Tupaj Katari, or EGTK0), and former political prisoner, García Linera has dedicated his career to the struggles of indigenous peoples and the working classes of Bolivia. He is author of numerous books, including Identidad boliviana: nación, mestizaje y plurinacionalidad (2014), Plebeian power: collective action and indigenous working-class and popular identities in Bolivia(2014), and Geopolítica de la Amazonía: poder hacendal-patrimonial y acumulación capitalista (2014).

Photos by CLACS MA Candidate José Raúl Guzmán.