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Translating Adivasi Literature: Rescuing From in/Visibility?


· Alessandra Consolaro University of Turin (Turin, Italy)


07/27 | 12:00-12:20 UTC+2/CEST


Adivasi people are one of the most marginalized groups in Indian society. Literature has become for them a field of struggle and Adivasi writers have entered the literary field in major regional languages. Translation from Adivasi languages into regional and international languages has become a major strategy in order to gain visibility. At the same time it poses the issue of adapting to national and global hegemonic discourses on heritage and indigeneity. For example, in 2014 three generations of Adivasi writers from all over India gathered in Ranchi, Jharkhand, for the first national conference on Adivasi writing. They elaborated the so-called ‘Ranchi manifesto,’ that has since remained as the main reference for Adivasi writing. Samuhik anubhuti – collective expression – is introduced as the main identifying element in Adivasi literature, but this at the same time reflects the dominant discourse on tribal identity. In my paper I discuss issues in negotiating between the local and the global discourse on Adivasi-ness when translating for an international audience, addressing issues of visibility, indigeneity and citizenship. I will focus on the English, German and Italian translations of Angor, the first poetry collection by Jacinta Kerketta, a journalist and poet from Jharkhand who succeeded in becoming acclaimed in the Hindi literary world and abroad.