The ‘Poets Translating Poets’ festival in Mumbai, scheduled during November 25-27, is all set to enthrall poetry lovers! Featuring 51 poets from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Germany, the festival, a culmination of a two-year-long Indo-German literary exchange project will address the issues of identity politics. There will also be poetry-reading sessions, discussions on subjects such as the difference between feminist poetry and the works of female writers, and a session on how Bengali poetry from Bangladesh and West Bengal is different from each other.
According to Hindustan Times, Mumbai-based Dalit-feminist poet Pradnya Daya Pawar says, “Translation as a practice helps understand people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds and removes these barricades. Translation, by definition, stands for something [that is] cross-cultural. Otherwise, there is a wall between the people of different countries, because you don’t know anything about their culture. Translation is that bridge. The more the number of initiatives taken to translate, the better it is.”
She also talks about the hottest topic of the season, Donald Trump! “With something like this happening, it’s important for people from different nations to come together. Liberal thought is coming to an end. So, we need to make sure that translation stays strong, and that more events like these are organised.”
Dr Martin Wälde, director of Max Mueller Bhavan, says, the focus of the festival is to enable poets and readers to understand and accept the world’s diversity. “Some of the questions that will arise and those we seek to debate on are: How can we preserve the diversity of cultures and languages when wars and conflicts enforce only one identity, which creates marginalisation and dislocation of refugees?”.
The festival will have a collection of 280 translations in 20 languages, including Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bengali, Kashmiri, Odia, German and Marathi.