To Die as an Egyptian
Lea Martinoli / Egypt
Lea Martinoli / Egypt
Web Arts Resistances is a media platform born to tell of civil resistance initiatives to defend basic human rights and strengthen social connections through artistic creativity. A purpose not so far from what Giulio Regeni strove for in his work in social research; according to the people who really knew him, this is what his parents tell.
Graffiti on a Cairo wall depicting Giulio Regeni's face under the frase, “They murdered him like an Egyptian” (قتلوه كما لو كان مصري)
In Cairo the first definition used by Egyptians when they meet italians is akhwina (our brothers). Most of the time the conversation ends there, or they recall names of popular italian soccer players. However, during the most recent period there are some who dare to mention the name of “that italian researcher found murdered, Regeni”.
“What was the name of that guy who studied here?... Nasty business, right? Rumor has it he was a spy…”. Those are the words used by people who, even if unwittingly, have been caught in the fog intentionally created by the Egyptian government to hide the truth, to make people forget a dead for which there is still no guilty party and which was falsely dismissed initially by the authority as a “car crash”.
Instead those who knew him, pronounce his name, “Giulio”. They look around and keep their voices down because they’re afraid of being heard, because they know that Regeni’s murder is one of many crimes the Egyptian government tries to bury in silence and daily fear.
Web Arts Resistances is a media platform documenting civil resistance movements that advocate for basic human rights and strengthen social connections through artistic creativity.A purpose not so far from what Giulio Regeni strove for in his work in social research; according to the people who really knew him, this is what his parents tell. An immersive research, made of participant observation, dialogue, and shared projects. Another way to spread and apply the principle of solidarity to everyday life.
The simple act of doing social research and promoting independent information in Egypt has become a form of city resistance. For this reason we publish here the dossier edited by Babelmed Regeni’s murder. How to obscure information and social research in Egypt.
We’ve selected four of the many articles that the online news Mada Masr, no longer accessible in Egypt since May, has dedicated to Giulio Regeni in the past months, on the one hand focused on the twin-track of censorship and crackdown, and fear on the other, a combination designed to regulate and to silence those voices – of journalists and social researchers – who try to shine a light on a reality that al Sisi government wants to hide; and one that the Italian government, who has recently sent an ambassador back to Cairo, prefers to not see it.
The definitions of translation are infinite, as are the combination of sounds and words that a human being can form to express an image in the “personal mental language”. What are the ethics of the translator? What does this mean for everyday life? Let me explain: the professionalism of a translator lies in his/her ability to yield a final text of the same quality as that of the original, to find brilliant linguistic solutions, etc. Although I am profoundly convinced that the absence of this ability can invert the meaning of the original text and thus alter the author’s message, what I wish to highlight here is the intention, the aim that drives the translator when he/she chooses, selects, cuts, and revises the text for translation. This is the moment in which he/she takes a side and decides which words to identify with, what voice to translate. Saramago said that authors create national literature, while translators make literature universal.
So this translation is intended to be a tool of resistance against censorship and the restriction of information, which hides or deforms reality, which can be freely interpreted, as with all forms of expression, thanks to this space.
English translation by Sidney Cavaricci-WhiteTweet