Pursuing Pan-African Multilingualism: The Feminist Africa Translation Project.
Charmaine Pereira initiated Feminist Africa’s exploration of what it takes to bridge the colonial linguistic legacies that continue to significantly limit the potential of pan-African intellectual development and feminist networking through the open communication and exchanges of ideas. Translation enables the spread of feminist knowledge via the written word across the boundaries of space and time, within and beyond Africa, but this is no straightforward task. In response to a reality in which French, Portuguese and Arabic, in addition to English, serve Africans as languages of global governance, higher education, and most writing, Feminist Africa has started with translations from English into these languages. Writing in African languages in all their beauty and diversity remains beyond the language capacities of our community of users and contributors, posing another set of challenges for the future.
Feminist Africa is currently carrying out a limited number of translations under the leadership of FA Editor, Dr Charmaine Pereira (fluent in English and Portuguese), working with multilingual Language Editors, Fatou Sow , Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Emeritus (French), Sandra Manuel Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo (Portuguese) and Hoda Elsadda , Cairo University, Giza (Arabic).
The Translation Project ouputs so far include an exciting selection from the Feminist Africa archive, of the most widely utilized and cited items from across the African continent. Texts were selected by a group comprising the three Language Editors, the repositories of Feminist Africa’s institutional memory (Amina Mama and Jane Bennett), the head of FA’s new institutional home (Dzodzi Tsikata) and the project co-ordinator (Charmaine Pereira). Feminist Africa plans to continue to explore the medium to long-term modalities for developing the editorial and contributor capabilities to pursue the multifaceted challenges of multilingualism for feminist theory and practice, and for Africa’s future.
Acknowledgement: The Feminist Africa Translation Project was the result of a 2-year partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, Maputo office.