Thursday, December 30, 2010

primero Dios

primero Dios: if it is God's will

I have often struggled to interpret this saying, which is sometimes sprinkled liberally throughout sentences. I liked this version in today's Democracy Now! headlines. If you're not listening to these daily online - why not? Best independent media out there, in both English and Spanish. Great way to practice.

So the relevant headline today was about Dilma Rousseff being sworn in as Brazil’s first female president on Saturday. Outgoing president Lula said:

"It is deeply symbolic that the presidential sash is being handed over from the first working-class president to the first female president. This will be a landmark in the beautiful path our people have been building to turn Brazil, if it’s God’s will, into one of the world’s most equal countries."

May this new year bring more equality to us all! Many thanks to those of you who read this blog and care about making our movements more multilingual, and especially to those who comment. May we achieve better working conditions as interpreters and translators in the new year!

Friday, December 24, 2010


una tertulia: a 'salon' or an artsy 'get-together'

When I went looking for images online, they were mostly of men talking. Hmmm.

Interestingly, the word has made it into the English language wikipedia, which says that it is "a social gathering with literary or artistic overtones, especially in Iberia or Latin America. The word is originally Spanish, and has only moderate currency in English, in describing Latin cultural contexts."

The Spanish language wikipedia dice "Una tertulia es una reunión, informal y periódica, de gente interesada en un tema o en una rama concreta del arte, ciencia o filosofia, para debatir e informarse o compartir ideas y opiniones. Por lo general la reunión tiene lugar en un café o cafetería, y suelen participar en ellas personas del ámbito intelectual. Es una costumbre de origen español y se mantuvo arraigada hasta mediados del siglo xx en las colonias independizadas del imperio español. A los asistentes se les llama contertulios o tertulianos." y claro, la definición de ahí sigue y sigue.

Anyways, hope you have some fun artsy conversations over the holidays!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

no manches

no manches: you've got to be kidding!

Yes, it's a cleaner version, but what I came up with. Any other suggestions?

Never heard this saying? Then you must have never 'shot the shit' with a Mexican!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

caminar la palabra

walk our talk (be the change)

I've seen all sorts of strange literal versions of this - most recently 'may words walk'! very poetic, but just not how we're used to saying or hearing it in English. When someone's words and actions are congruent we say they walk their talk. They practice what they preach.

For more on whether or not Gandhi actually said 'be the change you want to see in the world' see this good bit on it from the metta center.

I came back to academia in part because of my frustration that solidarity organizing often did not ‘walk the talk’, and had trouble ‘being the change’ we wanted to see in the world. It is hard to work together across gulfs of distance and difference without falling into old colonial patterns. My other blog, decolonizing solidarity, talks about these issues. Much, but not all, of it focuses on the tactic of solidarity. I turned to accompaniment for my research because it is the solidarity tactic that most explicitly uses inequalities based on colonial histories. Can even accompaniment be decolonized? Can geopolitical/racial privilege actually be used against empire and for justice and peace? Dissertation deadline? early May.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

School of the Americas Watch

SOA Watch = Observatorio por el cierre de la Escuela de las Americas
(I've been leaving out the por el cierre but the Latin American encuentro of the movement settled on this, for greatest clarity)

check out this AMAZING presence on the stage at the SOA Watch vigil last week by MECHA students.