Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Diaspora in Terms of Translation
The IUP Journal of English Studies, Vol. VII, No. 2, June 2012, pp. 61-69
Posted: 2 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 1, 2012
In the context of ‘colonialism’, ‘postcolonialism’, and ‘diaspora’, ‘translation’ as a metaphor is taken into account in this paper. Translation is not new but to examine ‘colonialism’, ‘postcolonialism’, and ‘diaspora’ in terms of translation looks a little new. Translation is a junction where two languages and two cultures meet only to result in impurity, artificiality and undecidability. Since translation involves social and power relations, it underwent a chequered career. During ‘colonialism’, translation helped colonizers consolidating colonial regime which turned traitor in ‘postcolonialism’ and diasporism. The base term for ‘colonialism’ is colony. If translation is taken for granted in its etymological use (to carry across), a colony means a second copy of the original located somewhere on the globe. And therefore, ‘colonialism’ refers to the acts of settling down a colony elsewhere on the map. Thus, both terms ‘translation’ and ‘colonialism’ involve the acts of displacements and relocation. Colonizers, to ensure safety, and continuation of their hegemonic rule over natives, invoked translation as a tool for seizing power and pelf. Postcolonialism is mainly marked by its oppositional stance to the self-centered homogeneous topology of ‘colonialism’. It employed mainly ‘mimicry’ and ‘hybridity’ as two avataras (incarnations) of translation to serve the ‘postcolonial’ purposes of getting colonial ideology and belief fragmented, fissured and flawed. Diaspora which deals with dispersed communities worldwide examines translational and transnational nature of diasporics and diasporic experiences. Culture and identity never remain constant. They always modify and get modified in turn. The concept of ‘diaspora’ in all cases bears the sense of translocation, displacement or de-territorialization. Hence, translation is an apt metaphor for ‘colonialism’, ‘postcolonialism’ and ‘diaspora’.
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