TRANSLATION AS AN ACT OF HOSPITALITY
"I think that most of us believe that translation is a wonderful thing. But there are also questions about who or what gets to cross a border. I spent some time in Myanmar for work these past few years and trying to learn more about the refugees fleeing that country, and reading about the refugee crises in the Mediterranean, and considering the discourse around the US border with Mexico–I felt dissatisfied with many of the conversations I was hearing about translation—which primarily emphasize technique.
I wanted to think through what it might mean to take in the voices, narratives, ideas of others. The way that we receive texts from other places, is not disconnected to me from how we receive people from other places. What do we expect from them? How do we greet them? I’ve been curious about this. What kinds of intimacy are possible between two very different languages and cultures?"
— Madhu Kazu, in conversation with Raj Chakrapani of the Rumpus