Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Translation as Protocological Resistance?

While reading Tsing, I was particularly struck by her development of “translation” as a key element in the frictive process. Most interesting to me was the Meratus Advocacy Alliance's simultaneous application of multiple languages in its publicity materials, where English terms were substituted despite the existence of perfectly adequate correlates within the Indonesian language (212). As Tsing puts it, this combining of separate linguistic systems in the same strain of communication “serves a political purpose, building an expansive public in the space between English and Indonesian. 'Public interest' emerges in that space ; the future to which generations look forward is simultaneously local, national, and global.” (212)

By making use of two languages within one PR release, combining two protological systems into one expression, it would seem the Alliance exceeds the localizing limits of each, creating a new detached translingual space and simultaneously calling into existence an imagined transnational audience assumed to inhabit that space. So, making use of available modes of accepted communication (that is, arguing within a public space while using accepted standard tongues), the alliance has transcended each ; speaking from within these systems, through a combination of each, a new hybrid protocol emerges which makes possible a space “simultaneously local, national, and global.”

This emergence of a new space of dialogue seems pretty radical me, and I'm wondering if it's fair to tie this emergence of space to Galloway's notion of resistance from within an established network? Could it be said that, through this hybridization of standardized protocols of (linguistically localizing) expression, a new resistant public is called into being in that "space between"?

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