Listening further to the _tinku_ of Andrés Ajens
One of the things that studies (listening!) in indigeneity teaches us is that we have to struggle—and it is a real struggle with our own unrecognized cauterizations—to avoid absorbing cultural ideas in a way that eviscerates and cannibalizes them for our own purposes (which is so easy to do… the North American academy did it, by and large, for example, to “deconstruction,” till Derrida was left to protest and to regret he’d ever used the word). Appropriation, always a part of art-making, has to be called into question when it involves eviscerating the cultural markings of another’s speaking or inscription, particularly when that “another” does not have the same societal privilege we do, or when our privilege rests upon the crushing of theirs.
Better that we eviscerate ourselves, realize our own agency (for appropriation is always done by an agent, a decider, an ego), open out and allow the collapse of our own instrumentalized reason and force.
Temporality, justice, embodiment, inscription: all these need to be called into question and allowed to question us. A translation practice (or “translational poetics” practice) that does not realize this is a corrupt practice. A practice in poetry that does not realize this is a potentially damaging and corrupt practice. Listening is hard, for we find ourselves monstrous when we listen. To a tree. To wind in a tree. To a word. To an inscription.
“What about the possibility of translation between writings? What about the possibility of a translation that would not appropriate, or steamroll between, different traditions of transmission and inscription? A translation that would not assimilate the ‘content’ or ‘meaning’ of the other (text)—is this not perhaps the impossible?” Andrés Ajens, trans. Michelle Gil-Montero
Translation is a performance that is incorporated, that stems from a textual flow through a body that is already socially and ideologically constituted, that already has corruptions in its own structure that will mar what passes through it. It is important to highlight that it IS a performance.