Commoning Translation: The Collective Feminist Translation of Silvia Federici’s “Re-enchanting the World” into Brazilian Portuguese

    Par Luciana Carvalho Fonseca


    This paper aims at developing the concept of commoning translation, outlined by Jeniffer Hayashida (2020), from a feminist decolonial perspective. Discussions on the commons were undertaken by 16 Brazilian women – during and after – the collective translation of Silvia Federeci’s “Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons” (2019) into Brazilian Portuguese in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. In the process, the group experienced and applied to their context Federici’s politics of the commons, namely, self-governance and task rotation, which in turn was part of the anti-capitalist mode of production and circulation agreed to with the publisher. At the same time, the ‘commoning’ translation process entailed and was informed by reflections on translation agency (Buzelin, 2011), feminist translation practices (Godayol, 2011; Santos, 2014), coloniality of knowledge (Quijano, 2000; Maldonado-Torres, 2006; Segato, 2013; Walsh, 2013), and situated knowledge (Haraway, 1988), which the group articulated from a collective viewpoint. Based on our collective experience in light of the above-mentioned literature, while developing the concept of commoning translation, this paper also explores other possibilities of agency within translation practice. Therefore, agency is understood not as part of a one-way production line (from translator to editor to publisher) in a top-down process, but as collective non-hierarchical and ‘fuzzy’ action. Additionally, the unprecedented isolation and precarization triggered by the coronavirus crisis in Brazil shed even more light on the importance of the collectivization of work and care. This is mirrored in our work by our attempt to actively translate the politics of the commons both in terms of language and work practices. Hence, commoning translation was experienced as a pedagogical process articulating decolonial translation practices and new forms of knowledge production and circulation that necessarily take into account how, where, by whom and for whom knowledge is produced.    


    Keywords: Commoning Translation; Feminist Translation; Politics of the Commons; Translation Agency; Reproductive Work; Silvia Federici

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