‘The Universality of Translating Reparations for Mass Violence’ to Take Place Nov. 1 in Watertown
WATERTOWN, Mass. (A.W.)—The Armenian Weekly will present “The Universality of Translating Reparations for Mass Violence,” an evening with Dr. Henry C. Theriault and Alejandra Patricia Karamanian, on Nov. 1, at the Armenian American Social Club (Papken Suni agoump) of Watertown.
It is through translation that works of a particular society and culture become universally accessible, and opportunities for the global movement of ideas and political outlooks become possible. When a work focuses on topics that have universal relevance, translation becomes an obligation to humanity. Yet, translation inevitably requires moving beyond what is originally given; that is, it requires interpretation by the translator. But translation is all the more a challenge when the translator is deeply committed to the human rights values underlying the work being translated.
Dr. Henry Theriault, lead author of Resolution with Justice: Reparations for the Armenian Genocide, the Final Report of the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group, will have a conversation about such complexities with Alejandra Patricia Karamanian, the Argentina-based translator of the reparations report into Spanish.
“Armenians often boast about the great contributions made long ago, from archaeological finds regarding beer and shoes in the ancient world to architectural innovations and even David of Sasun being an inspiration for the King Arthur legends. We sometimes forget that perhaps our most important contribution has been and will be regarding what happens after mass violence victimization: How does a people survive and even come to thrive rather than fade out after a genocide weakens it so greatly?” Theriault said ahead of the Nov. 1 event.
“We have important contributions to make regarding the reparative process, but for those contributions to have any meaning for other groups looking for new ideas, they have to be accessible to those groups. Like it or not, Armenian is not a widely known language, and we depend on English, Russian, French, Arabic, and, notably, Spanish to communicate our ideas with the rest of the world. In our globalized society, multilingual reach is crucial. Fortunately, we have a vibrant global diaspora with native speakers in many of the major world languages of the 21st century, including the fast-growing one of Spanish,” Theriault added.
The evening, which is free and open to the public, will be the first of many similar events hosted by the Armenian Weekly in the future. “We are excited to host Dr. Theriault and Ms. Karamanian next month, in what promises to be a fruitful discussion about not only the need for reparations for the Armenian Genocide but also the significance of translating literature about reparations so that it may reach a wider audience,” said Armenian Weekly Editor Rupen Janbazian. “We hope that members of the community will join us to gain a new perspective on this pertinent issue.”
“The Universality of Translating Reparations for Mass Violence” will take place at the Armenian American Social Club of Watertown (Papken Suni agoump – 76 Bigelow Ave. Watertown, Mass. 02472) on Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.