Sunday, January 30, 2022

frailejón: frailejón (mountain sunflower?!)

I have always before seen frailejón just imported into the English - so it stood out to me that this article in CNN did so but then followed it with the description "mountain sunflowers 6 feet tall that capture water vapor from clouds and release it to the ground creating water springs." I've never thought of them as sunflowers, but now I see it. You could also of course use the latin name, espeletia. But mountain sunflower isn't bad. Relevant for social justice because these grow in the fragile páramo in Colombia which is at serious risk from both the climate catastrophe and extractivism.

Monday, January 17, 2022

campesino: another option

I have blogged repeatedly about options for campesino. None of them are great wihch is why I tend to import it. It's a concept that just doesn't translate well since it includes not only family or small-scale farmers but also farmworkers, loggers, artisanal miners, and lots of other people that live in the campo. I liked the way this great article (that helped me see how we need to look both above and below the land to understand land issues in Colombia) went back and forth between using small-scale farmer and campesino throughout, though again, that leaves a lot of people out.

My compa Kath Nygard has lately been trying to convince me to use peasant. As I've blogged before, it's worth nothing that the Via Campesina uses International Peasant Movement as their official translation. I don't think I'm quite there yet, since the connotations in English seem still too closely tied to Monty Python type peasants (see video).