Sunday, December 27, 2020

el rebusque: the hustle for odd jobs/gigs.

I was reminded of the difficulty of translating this term by reading the article

Alves, Jaime Amparo. “‘Esa Paz Blanca, Esa Paz de Muerte’: Peacetime, Wartime, and Black Impossible Chronos in Postconflict Colombia.” The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 24, no. 3 (November 2019): 653–71.
It's fantastic and if you don't have access to it email me if you want a copy. Jaime just uses the term odd jobs for rebusque and gives examples (street vending, cleaning, repairing). I like the term odd jobs but I think it leaves out the constant stress and search and finding them that the term rebusque points to, which is why I include the hustle part. People will often say 'esta en el rebusque', which I would render as 'he's on the hustle for odd jobs'. Sometimes I'll say hustling for gigs. Note that the term hustling alone could be misread as looking for sex work! You could also render this as 'scrambling to support yourself any way possible'. I would include Uber driving and meal delivery as el rebusque. Really the gig economy es la economía del rebusque.