Category Archives: Quechua-Related Info

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.

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Map and territory: LIFE TRANSLATED FOR OTHERS (2)

by Santiago Barcaza S.

Without wanting to dwell too much on certain aspects proposed by the academy, I am surprised that there are two currents of thought: one that regards self-translation as an unusual phenomenon, a marginal activity and another one that supports the opposite. I will not use this space to delve into one or the other. I agree with the outstanding researcher of translation studies Julio César Santoyo, when he says:

Seen the seen, one can not help but wonder: can we continue talking about the self-translation as a phenomenon ‘rather weird’ or ´exceptional´? We are not faced with rare exceptions but before an immense corpus, increasingly of texts translated by their own creators. Far from being a ‘marginal case’, the author’s translation has a long history and is today one of the most frequent and important cultural, linguistic and literary phenomena in our global village, and certainly deserves much more attention from which has been borrowed so far“.

In fact, the first known self-translator is the jewish historian Flavius ​​Josephus, who in 75 AD wrote in Aramaic, his mother tongue, the seven books of his first work, The War of the Jews, to later revise it and translate it to the Greek. From then until today, self-translation is a common practice. They form a group so broad and so diverse that it is impossible to list them all. However, as a sample, I quote a short selection: Fray Luis de León, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Stéphane Mallarmé, Samuel Beckett, Joseph Brodsky, Vladimir Nabokov, José María Arguedas, Milan Kundera, et cetera. However, addressing the self-translation in one of these authors runs the risk of falling into exceptional particularities and the preparation of a rather monographic study. Nobody doubts the fact that these authors are interesting, but that some are paradigmatic, as to help understand or illuminate the act of self-translation – for example, of poets of indigenous origin in southern America- is perhaps another issue. So, I wonder what is really the self-translation? why? And for what?

In an article published in 2011, the researcher of the University of the Cape in South Africa, Maria Recuenco, explains that in countries or multilingual societies, the step of self-translation, from a language called “regional” to the official language of State or dominant language, is as logical as it is complicated. A clear example of this is Belgium, a traditionally fertile territory for linguistic contact between Flemish and French, and which has a significant number of bilingual authors.

To talk about this, I met with the Chilean poet, academic and researcher Rodrigo Rojas (Lima, 1971), MFA from the New York University, and author of the book La Lengua Escorada(2009, Pehuen Editores), where he discusses the literature produced by four authors of Mapuche descent, and recognizes the complexity of its bilengual nature not so much because of its fluency in the use of mapudungun or spanish, but rather because of the cosmopolitan and multicultural scene in which they develop their literary work.

Neruda and Tagore

Neruda and Tagore, a curious link

A paradigmatic example for Rodrigo, which will help us approach the subject of this essay with determination, is that of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore (Calcutta, 1861 – 1941). In fact, Tagore is excellent at exemplifying how the use of another language (English), a culturally dominant language since those years, earned him many benefits.

“He gets to win the Nobel Prize –he says– very soon after he has translated his own poems. And he does this by putting them in tune with the cultural expectations of the England of his time, which even leads him to transform his own poetry. However, after the First World War, the political landscape changes completely in Europe. The thought and the european imagination isfaced with the fact that its own idea of ​​civilization was able to generate such level of death that drastically changes its sensitivity and also changes aesthetics. There begins the advent of the vanguards, with which the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore in English is quickly forgotten because it is identified with the previous Victorian aesthetic. So, it’s interesting to stop there: how fruit of the self-translation, he could earn a lot and at the same time, lose so much. However, many theorists of India today speak about the legacy of Rabindranath Tagore and show how his poetry is still valid, beyond the world wars, accompanying the Hindu literary canon as a result of a series of changes that go beyond the independence of India or the advent of the communist party. This is a sign that we are facing a poetry much less attached to fashion than can perceive in your self-translations into English.

But Tagore in Chile is also known for being whom Neruda would have stolen some verses …

That is interesting because being Tagore the author of the texts that Neruda plagiarized is valid to ask how did Tagore come to the hands of Neruda? What versions and what translations? It is true, he was a Nobel, but how many spanish versions were there? It is known that the wife of the poet Juan Ramón Jiménez, Zenobia Camprubí, had translated and published Tagore in Spain. But in Chile, another person had also done translations of Tagore and they were translations in prose, not verse. This is Gabriela Mistral, who had also translated the French symbolists, and so on. It is much more likely that Neruda had met Tagore in those interviews he had in Temuco with the director of the Girls’ Lyceum, which at that time was Gabriela Mistral. She must have taught him these world poets to open his head. So it seems very interesting to me how this Tagore, who betrays himself to be accepted in the English literary medium, in a sort of self-exoticise by the Victorian sensibility and who gets the Nobel for that, then falls into oblivion. But it turns out that here, in Latin America, once translated, again, but from its own self-translated translation of little value in the Anglo-Saxon world, it comes alive again, but in an underground way, because of the accusation of plagiarism with which Pablo Neruda is accused.

In the next installments, I will talk with Odi Gonzales about oral language and written language and we will continue talking with Rodrigo Rojas, we will confront his theory with that of other researchers and we will review some case studies of poets of indigenous Latin American origin and other recognized poets in the western world.

Upcoming Events November 6-11, 2017

CLACS has yet another jam-packed week of events for you to attend, engange with, reflect on, and enjoy. If you are unable to attend the event in person, check out our facebook page, because there is a good chance that there will be a live-stream. This week, events range from critically analyzing the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, celebrating Mexican music, and collaborating with Quechua speakers and students from across North America.

HURRICANE SEASON: SOVEREIGNTY & CATASTROPHE IN THE CARIBBEAN

A roundtable on the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. How have environmental and colonial histories shaped recent events? What fragile infrastructures and uncertain sovereignties have been revealed?

Monday, November 6, 2017
6:00 – 9:00 pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Auditorium
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

More information about this event can be found here.

MOTHER TONGUES UNITED: LANGUAGE EXPO CELEBRATION OF LESS-COMMONLY TAUGHT LANGUAGES

Every year, The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU hosts “#MotherTonguesUnited”, an event tied to a movement to unite speakers of historically undervalued languages in an effort to dispel myths and stereotypes surrounding those languages. Many languages have been included in this movement, including Papiamentu, Haitian Creole, and Garífuna.

This year, CLACS is excited to be hosting a Language Fair that focuses on less-commonly taught languages! This special edition of #MotherTonguesUnited aims to celebrate the work of various language departments and centers throughout NYU while creating a community space where students can learn about and engage in these languages.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
4:00 – 8:30 pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Atrium
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

More information about this event can be found here.

MEXICAN MUSIC IN THE GLOBAL MARKET: EXPLORING THE CULTURAL CHALLENGES & COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Mexico is the 2nd largest latin market right after Brazil. Yet, it shows no signs of stopping. Join us to as we discuss the impact of Mexican, and Latin music, in the global market, as we unravel the stories of some Mexican professionals in the music industry and musicians, as well as music industry professionals who deal with Latin American content. We will explore the cultural challenges and commercial opportunities that Mexican music has in the American market, and we will also discuss the evolution of Mexico’s music industry.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
NYU Kimmel 405
60 Washington Sq S

More information about this event can be found here.

SOUND X COLOR: SOMOS MUCHO MAS CUBA

Yamay Mejias Hernandez, also known as “La Fina,” will discuss her career as an Afro-Cuban feminist rapper and Director of “Somos Mucho Mas.” Somos Mucho Mas is one of the only female-led hip-hop initiatives in Cuba and serves as an intersectional anti-racist and feminist platform for Afro-Cuban women. As a rapper and community organizer, in a country that claims to have solved issues with racism, La Fina presents a unique perspective as she uses hip-hop to fight for social change.

Friday, November 10, 2017
5:30 – 8:30 pm
Social and Cultural Analysis, Flex Space
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

More information about this event can be found here.

3RD QUECHUA STUDENT ALLIANCE MEETING

This annual event aims to promote an exchange of ideas between college students, professors, and the community at large who share an interest and passion for Quechua language and Andean culture. We are working towards creating a space for people of all ages and backgrounds to become dynamic leaders within their communities. Our goal is to foster networks of indigenous language advocates.

Saturday, November 11, 2017
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Atrium
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

More information about this event can be found here.

Warisata en Imágenes: The Right to an Emancipatory Education

 

09-19 Event Picture (Warista en Imagens).JPG

¡Paulo Freire Vive!

The Right to an Emancipatory Education, at Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean

Discussion and photographic exposition of Warisata: the experience of the indigenous “escuela núcleo” in Bolivia.

September 19, 2017

The Ayllu School of Warisata in Bolivia, despite its short operative life (1931-1940), has been one of the most significant educational experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean. Transmitting the principles of freedom, solidarity, and reciprocity, it reevaluated the Bolivian cultural identity and sustainable communal production in harmony with mother earth.

The experience and exhibition of Warisata en Imágenes discussed the current Latin American and Caribbean context and the challenging task of creating an emancipatory education. Moreover, the conversation was geared towards the philosophical motivations—and the ends—of education as a tool for personal growth and social progress.

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Peruvian Sociolinguist, Miryam Yataco, Writes About the Social Significance of Liberato Kani and “El Quechua en Resistencia”

Liberato Kani: El Quechua en Resistencia

There are artists that represent the ethos of their times, the Zeitgeist—anticipating, reflecting and shaping the aesthetics of the present, and the times to come.

I met Liberato Kani when he invited me to participate in his latest musical video Harawi Boombap. Although I was the oldest in the crowd of really young people, and felt a bit out of generation, I also felt quite honored to be part of this new video clip. By this time, I had been keenly following Liberato´s production. I knew I was witnessing an individual pioneering something new. In every generation there are artists who represent and condense a specific moment in history and who also announce new paradigms. Liberato, I felt at that moment, had begun generating new mappings for the language, the mapping of Quechua in Peru´s urban space.

Quechua has in Liberato Kani an emerging artist who represents the language’s vitality and signals without any doubt, hope and strength. Through his urban intervention, Quechua shows its colors and dynamism from within. This, I think is being felt by many – young and not so young –in Peru at present.

An artist, characterized by using the Quechua language as a motif and also as a medium in his rap-poetry creations, Liberato erupts in an almost all Spanish-only pop-rap Peruvian musical environment. Young people in Peru now have the possibility to listen, sing and maybe start speaking and understanding some Quechua without participating in a formal class.

Liberato is associated by birth and by his language patrimony to Andahuaylas and San Juan de Lurigancho two places characterized as highly Quechua-embedded. You are sure to hear the language in these two places. Quechua is spoken by more than 4 million speakers in Peru. These are large speech communities that have been traditionally invisible to a monolingual Spanish-only state. For the 12 to 10 million of speakers of Quechua in South America, exclusion, marginalization and language discrimination have all been part of their daily lives … personally and collectively, for years and years and years.

Over the past decade, efforts on part of some Latin American countries have been made to balance inequalities, resulting in new laws on recognition, protection and ¨inclusion¨ of indigenous language communities. For some languages at risk, this comes all too late. Many languages are on a brink of disappearing. Having but a few mother- tongue speakers at an elder age, their future seems grim. Recent generations have been denied the possibility to inherit their own language patrimony, a phenomenon we may call “stolen tongues.”

Linguist Ghilad Zuckerman sees these threatened languages that still hold potential for recovery as “sleeping beauties¨. Though the revival or revitalization processes are strongly associated to speech communities´ strong input. The perception that efforts to save and revitalize these languages are solely a matter of Language Policy intervention* crafted by official (usually non-indigenous) representatives of these modern Latin American states is again false hope. In this context, Liberato Kani’s rap shows up, as a surprise, and with a dignified response.

Artists like Liberato Kani emerge from the community, self-made, self-developing. It represents an intervention that is from the heart of Quechua-speaking communities, Quechua youth, from the ones long made invisible. This makes Liberato an authentic sign of language revival… a wave born strictly from within.

Liberato appears in the spirit of the language itself—strong, self-assured, articulate, and above all brave. With his demeanor and his spoken word, Liberato says, I am not a victim, I am proud of who I am, I am proud and grounded in my elders’ spoken word. This is who I am and I make no excuses for me, I am proud of who I am, in strength I am here to stay—me, my language my heritage, I am this country. Here in a master interview by El Montonero.

Moreover Liberato (a son of a Master Danzaq, Picaflor de Umamarca) comes across as an independent broker; he is an indie multimedia producer, sharing his work through the use of technology and the virtual world. He is what Zapata and Biondi call a Nómade Electronal**, going straight from the Oral register into the electronal or virtual world and redefining social interaction between Quechua speaking youth and mainstream Peru.

Quechua siminchikta tukuy ñankunapi rimasun wawqipaniykuna
– Liberato Kani

¨Allá los que quieran ver el quechua y quechua hablantes como excluidos. Allá quienes quieren seguir viéndolos como pasado fosilizado. Si la escribalidad aplastó esas voces hoy la electronalidad se las devuelve. Con mirada al futuro.¨
Dr. Eduardo Zapata

* Revitalizing languages require a lot more than Top-Down efforts.
** Nómades Electronales: Lo que nos dicen las escrituras de los jóvenes (2017) Eduardo Zapata Cárdenas, Juan Biondi Editorial(es): Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. Lugar de publicación: Lima.

Author: Miryam Yataco, language rights advocate and sociolinguist. Her research has focused on language policies, and language practices marked by exclusion, marginalization and language discrimination.

Liberato Kani
You can join his Facebook Page at Liberatokani
LIBERATO KANI with his Grandmother, ANDAHUAYLAS APURIMAC video
Liberato Kani en HIP HOP PERU video
Liberato Kani LA RESISTENCIA DEL QUECHUA EN HIP HOP access
Liberato Kani in the NEWS video
Liberato Kani at the TEATRO NACIONAL with Uchpa and La Sarita video
JAMMIN Liberato Kani “Mana urmaspa” video
RIMAY PUEBLO – CD
Liberato Kani and Renata Flores

Presentations and Bibliographical References consulted:

Biondi, Juan y Zapata, Eduardo
1994 Representación oral en las calles de Lima. Universidad de Lima.
2006 La Palabra Permanente. Verba manent, scripta volant: Teoría y prácticas de la oralidad en el discurso social del Perú.” Fondo Editorial del Congreso del Perú.

Biondi, Juan, y Zapata, Eduardo
2017 NÓMADES ELECTRONALES. Lo que nos dicen las escrituras de los jóvenes: había que echarse a andar nuevamente. @Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas UPC.

Language Rights, Derechos Linguisticos, Lenguas en riesgo. Access on Facebook

Zuckermann, Ghilad: Sleeping Beauties Awake. Access

Event Re-cap: PoeTEA, Quechua & Kreyòl Showcase

This past September 13th, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies celebrated a night of languages and culture. Our Quechua & Kreyòl showcase included presentations by language instructors Odi Gonzales (Quechua) and Wynnie Lamour (Haitian Creole).

Students also shared poetry and participants enjoyed a playlist curated by Haitian-American DJ Sabine Blaizin, as well as delicious food and tea. It was a wonderful coming together of poets and community and a testament to the cultural relevance of the Indigenous and Diasporic Language Consortium.

Please enjoy a video re-cap of the event below:

Andean Culture Night

Last night we celebrated Andean culture at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. The Runasimi Outreach Committee and Center for Latin American Studies hosted various community groups and artists representing Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia for the last Quechua night of the year.

Participants included:

Ñukanchik Llakta Wawakuna dancing Kawsay La Vida and reading a poem

Grupo Folklorico Fuerza Peruana dancing Huaylas de Carnaval

Baila Perú New York dancing Marinera from Trujillo

Odi Gonzales reading from the poetry collection Virgenes Urbanas

Pachamama dancing Tinkus

Eduardo F. Medrano Salas reading poetry

Fraternidad Cultural Pasión Boliviano dancing Salaque

Thanks so much to all our participants and everyone else who came out to share this special night with us. We enjoyed Salteñas and Api and two hours of performances! On behalf of the Runasimi Outreach Committee we hope to see you next year.