Sunday, September 30, 2012

disability terminology

Last week I posted a link to a queer terminology review, this week it's a link to this great article that goes over the do's and don'ts around terminology relating to people with disabilities.  For starters, please don't call folks 'the disabled', much less 'wheelchair bound'.  My favorite of the article? People can decide themselves if they are suffering.  If you don't know what that refers to - read up! 

As was last weeks, this link comes from the fabulous Andrea Parra.  Gracias bella!

Monday, September 24, 2012

queer terminology

Think you're good at LGBTQ terms?
Do you know what the difference is between a demisexual and a panromantic?
Even if you do, check out this page of fabulous posters and I promise you, there will be SOME term you've never heard of. 

Many thanks to Andrea Parra for the fabulous link

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Occupying Language in NYC

The Committee on Globalization and Social Changeis putting on a very cool event:

Occupying Language

with Dario Azzellini and Marina Sitrin

Friday, September 21: 2:00 pm at the Free University of NYC at Madison Square Park and 7:30 pm at 16 Beaver Street (4th floor)

This is their shpeil about it:

Occupying Language is an open conversation. Through it, we invite you to join us to explore insurgent movements that have been organizing in Latin America over the past twenty years, and to connect key concepts and language from those struggles with what is new and beautiful in the social relations being created by people’s movements in the United States today.

There are of course many similarities with preceding forms of organization and mobilization, especially with the movement for global justice of the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, we are choosing to ground the discussion in movements and groups that arose from and are comprised of ordinary people, rather than activists.

Language is not neutral, and words transport and express concepts and ways of thinking. They can consolidate and perpetuate hierarchies, domination and control just as they can underline equality and strengthen consciousness. Latin American struggles for dignity, freedom and liberation are rooted in more than five hundred years of resistance. Language derived from their struggles comes with historical antecedents.

Among the concepts we explore are Territory, Assembly, Rupture, Popular Power, Horizontalism, Autogestión (self-administration), and Protagonism. Examples of each term are drawn from different Latin American communities of struggle, from the spreading of Horizontalidad with the popular rebellion in Argentina, and the concept of Territory seen in Bolivia and Mexico, to the construction of Popular Power in the Consejos Comunales in Venezuela, and the vision of interconnected human diversity articulated in the call for “one world in which many worlds fit” by the indigenous Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

training specific to interpreting for social justice movements

There are still a couple of slots in the training at Wayside, in Virginia, on Sept. 28-30, led by my fantastic compas, Ricardo Tijerina and Catalina Nieto.  I highly recommend it - it's well worth a long drive to get there if you're in driving distance. 

I'd also like to take a minute to say a HUGE thank you to the amazing Catalina, who incredibly generously donated her professional interpretation services for the entire month of the caravan for peace. If you need interpretation services on the East coast, please consider her. 

Catalina is a community organizer, popular educator, Spanish/English interpreter and artist. Since Catalina’s arrival to the United States from Colombia in 2000, she has organized with the immigrant rights and Latin American solidarity movements. She has worked as the National Grassroots Organizer with the Latin American solidarity organization Witness for Peace, and as the Education Director with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. Catalina has also interned at the Highlander Center for Popular Education and at the Chicago ENLACE Partnership. Catalina graduated in 2011 with a M.A. in Social Justice and Intercultural Relations from SIT Graduate Institute. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Communications, Media and Theater from Northeastern Illinois University.

Her contact info is

Saturday, September 8, 2012

my evolving shpiel for folks who misuse the terms interp/translator

Sometimes bilingual people who I explain the interpretation translation distinction to try to tell me that in Spanish traducción means interpretation.

I assume that everyone reading this blog will know that it is not, but I thought I would share an email I sent to a compa who had this confusion. I wrote:

"I want to explain why this is not just some high horse and why this distinction matters so much to us. The same traducción as written and interpretación as spoken distinction exists in Spanish as in English - it's just that people are perhaps even MORE likely to get it wrong in Spanish.

As activist interps we want to make our movements more powerful by making them more multilingual - to do that movements really need to understand language services so they can use them well. It turns out that translation and interpretation are two pretty different skills that require different tools, training and talents (great writing skills vs speaking skills, different software, etc). Part of the reason we insist on educating folks to use the right terms is as a first step towards improving movements use of interps and translation so that our movements can be stronger and more effective.

I will understand if you get this wrong another hundred times, but I'd like to ask you, particularly when speaking publicly about our work to try to remember to use the term interpretación in Spanish when that's what you mean, not traducción, even if that's what other folks you've been working with have been using. "

Multilingual movements are stronger movements! Lets build our power as movements by teaching our compas to do multilingualism well!