Chapter in:Translating Asymmetry – Rewriting Power
Edited by Ovidi Carbonell i Cortés and Esther Monzó-Nebot
[Benjamins Translation Library 157] 2021
Citizens as agents of translation versions
The polyphonic translation
The prospects of a solution to the Cyprus issue have led to a revived interest in the fate of Famagusta, which, after more than 40 years of abandonment due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, has turned into a ghost city and a strong symbol both of the island’s division and the prospect of reunification. Hands-on-Famagusta, an architectural project (2015a) by a bi-communal team (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots) aiming to explore prospects of reunifying the city, also becomes important through its trilingual website (English-Greek-Turkish). More specifically, the involvement of various translation agents co-shaped the translation product and led to the creation of what will be termed a polyphonic translation (following Bakhtin 1986), as this trilingual output allowed not merely for a simple coexistence of conflicting discourses, but for a quasi-interaction, aiming at highlighting them as constituting elements of a potential cohabitation of Famagusta. All parties involved negotiated their memory and bypassed officially established language and translation policies and challenged dominant discourses of both sides. Their action prompts new ways of thinking about translation politics in terms of (a) citizens emerging as active agents of translation because, through or despite their memories and in contrast to official power centers, and (b) the reevaluation of “accuracy” and “sameness” in particularly polyphonic translation situations, where opposing discourses converge to necessary “amnesia.”
Keywords: citizenship, memory, polyphonic (translation), translation politics, power, agency
Hadjioannou, Xenia, and Stavroula Tsiplakou, with a contribution by Matthias Kappler
2015a “About the project.” http://www.handsonfamagusta.org/about-the-project (accessed February 2020).
2015b “Fenced-off area of Varosha Commerce and Residential Zone.” http://www.handsonfamagusta.org/home (accessed February 2020).
2015c “Kapalı Maraş Bölgesi Kıyı Şeridi.” http://www.handsonfamagusta.org/home-tr (accessed February 2020).
Jansen, Hanne, and Anna Wegener
Miceli Stout, Angela C.
Republic of Cyprus, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2006 “Historical Review.” http://www.mfa.gov.cy/mfa/mfa2016.nsf/mfa08_en/mfa08_en?OpenDocument (accessed February 2020).
Stratis, Socrates, and Akbil, Emre
Valdeón, Roberto A., and Caterina Calafat