Translation as an Alternative Space for Political Action | Creativity as changing tool |
(2012). Translation as an Alternative Space for Political Action. Social Movement Studies. ???aop.label???.


This article examines the genesis, dynamics and positioning of activist groups of translators and interpreters who engage in various forms of collective action. The activism of these groups is distinctive in that they use their linguistic skills to extend narrative space and empower voices made invisible by the global power of English and the politics of language. They further recognise that language and translation themselves constitute a space of resistance, a means of reversing the symbolic order. Their use of hybrid language, their deliberate downgrading of English, the constant shuffling of the order and space allocated to different languages on their websites—all this is as much part of their political agenda as their linguistic mediation of texts and utterances produced by others, in their capacity as translators and interpreters. The article examines the positioning of these groups vis-à-vis what Tarrow (2006, p. 16) terms ‘the new generation of global justice activists’ on the one hand, and professional translators and interpreters on the other, and argues that they occupy a ‘liminal’ space between the world of activism and the service economy.

Via Charles Tiayon