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2020-2022: On Page and on Stage: Celebrating Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts

Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement:

Festivals of Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts

AHRC Reference: AH/S008608/1

PI: Nicole Thiara, Co-I: Judith Misrahi-Barak

Title: On Page and on Stage: Celebrating Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts

Grant project summary:
The Network 'Writing, Translating, Analysing Dalit Literature' was created in 2014 by Dr Nicole Thiara, Centre for Postcolonial Studies at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), UK, and Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak, research centre EMMA at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 (UPVM), France, following the award of an AHRC grant. The research conducted during the 2014-16 grant period explored and analysed Dalit literature in international, multi-disciplinary contexts for the first time since Dalit literature, produced by artists formerly labelled ‘Untouchables’, emerged as the most significant, prolific and controversial literary movement in India in the last 30 years. Despite the quality, vibrancy and experimental nature of this burgeoning literary tradition, it had received scant attention from the general public or in academia. To raise its profile, in Europe and globally, and to stimulate academic research and public interest, Thiara and Misrahi-Barak organised six academic and public-facing events in the UK (at Nottingham Trent University, University of Leicester, University of East Anglia), France (at UPVM) and India (at Savitribai Phule Pune University and Delhi University). They were a resounding success (450 participants in total) and the network produced a website, a digital communications channel and several publications.

Follow-on funding will allow a series of festival events to be organised that focus on Dalit and Adivasi literatures and the performing arts in India, France and the UK. During the period of network funding, it became apparent that further collaboration is needed to ensure that work by socially precarious, economically challenged, and culturally marginalized artists becomes visible and is valued in both national and global contexts. It emerged that drama and poetry were among the most marginalised of genres, and received the least attention from scholars, even though these genres are among the most significant in Dalit and Adivasi activist circles and the most prominent in voicing resistance to continued caste discrimination and social exclusion. Even more significant was the insight we gained into the widespread perception amongst Dalit and Adivasi writers and performing artists that their literary and artistic output requires larger and more varied audiences in order to sustain its creative and experimental development. Dalit and Adivasi folk art forms are in danger of disappearing if they do not receive more support from a pan-Indian Dalit and Adivasi audience, and from cultural and state organisations, and can be both supported and enriched by new ‘mainstream’ audiences and international recognition.

The network proposes to co-create and co-organise international public events which, for the first time on this scale, will share Dalit and Adivasi performing arts widely. They will include poetry, music, drama performances and films, and public discussions with practitioners of both folk and contemporary performative art forms with the support and contribution of academic researchers who will introduce performances and conduct workshops and interviews. In partnership with various organisations and institutions—India’s Department of Kannada and Culture, the Indian National School of Drama, the international theatre festival IAPAR, the Paris libraries, Nottingham’s New Art Exchange and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature— the network plans to host events to engage as wide a range of audiences and communities as possible, including Dalit and marginalised communities in and outside of India. A consultative document will be created in the form of a manifesto, produced collaboratively to initiate public policy and effect change.  This project will invigorate invaluable folk traditions and sustain the development of a variety of artistic practices, the experience of which will encourage and enrich new audiences and contribute to the development of a world in which caste discrimination will be eroded and equality in the widest sense fostered and advanced. Dalit and Adivasi art’s message that no-one should be left behind will be amplified and celebrated.

New YouTube "On Page On Stage" channel : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrMryNWLDn9H7EJTk7PWbpQ/featured


Nottingham Art Exchange / MELA 10-12 septembre

Le New Art Exchange à Nottingham présente son festival / MELA, pour lequel Nicole Thiara et moi-même coorganisons les 3 événements ci-dessous, pour lesquels une inscription est requise. Vous trouverez les détails ci-dessous et un rappel de la collaboration entre EMMA / UPVM et Nottingham Trent University dans le cadre des programmes financés par Arts and Humanities Research Council / AHRC, sur le site d'EMMA:http://www.nae.org.uk/event/nottingham-mela-2021/1016


Friday 10 September, 17.00-18.30 (CET)


Anjali Kajal is a short story writer from Punjab, and Kavita Bhanot recently translated some of Anjali Kajal’s Hindi short stories into English. Kajal's feminist and anti-caste stories explore desire, abuse, silence, love and oppression. Kajal was honoured by Punjab Hindi Sahitya Academy, Jallandhar for her contribution to Hindi literature in 2003. Birmingham-based Kavita Bhanot, edited the anthology Too Asian, Not Asian Enough and Book of Birmingham and is currently editing an anthology on decolonising translation with Jeremy Tiang (Tilted Axis). She is a research fellow at Leicester University and a founder of the Literature Must Fall Collective. 


Saturday 11 September, 17.30 – 19.00 (CET)


Qawwali is a musical ensemble associated with Sufi culture. Originally performed by groups of men, the themes of the songs are generally linked to spirituality or love.  The Shaheen organisation has successfully adopted Qawwali genre to break the stereotype of the Qawwals (singers) to be only men and to create social awareness in the patriarchal community, through its gender-sensitising lyrics. It is an exclusive effort on the part of the organisation to promote women’s empowerment in society.  


Sunday 12 September, 15.00-16.30 (CET)


Seral Murmu is an Adivasi filmmaker from Jharkhand in India whose films draw on oral Adivasi narratives, magical realism and experimental cinematography. His film Sondhayni (2019), for example, is a modern folktale that critiques the exploitation and destruction of the forest.  Dissatisfied with the way Adivasi or ‘Tribals’ are depicted in Indian film, Seral Murmu makes a powerful statement about the urgent necessity to shift our perspectives and embrace creatively the diversity of the world we live in, here and there, beyond discriminatory and oppressive discourses.

Discussing Des Raj Kali’s rebuttal to Mahabharat’s Shanti Parva: ‘Treatise on Peace’

Neeti Singh (University of Baroda) in conversation with Des Raj Kali
Thursday, April 8th at 6 pm in India (3.30 pm Israel, 2.30 pm France, 1.30 pm UK)

Des Raj Kali is an acclaimed Punjabi Dalit writer, historian and columnist. He has authored over fifteen books – fiction and nonfiction; his primary areas of interest are the Ghadar movement, Dalit issues,
Punjabi literature, myth and culture. As a journalist and columnist, Kali is very active on Punjabi social media. He also publishes a literary quarterly called Lakeer.
Des Raj Kali’s novel, Shanti Parav, is an oblique response and rebuttal to its (close) namesake – Shanti Parva – the twelfth book of Mahabharata which is a treatise on peace, the ideals of state laws – statehood, and the pertinence of punitive measures implemented by the state. Located in the aftermath of the 1947 Partition, Kali’s Shanti Parav discourses the subterranean and palimpsest tendencies of power, privilege and violence. The agency and representations of violence around us may have changed, but beneath the veneer of justice and democratic right, the structures of abuse and violence continue to regurgitate as crudely and as brutally across land, time and state. In terms of its approach to literary form, structure, aesthetics and the discourse that it posits, Shanti Parav can be read as a work of poised resistance, as work that is experimental, polyphonic and poststructural, and as writing that has opened up new avenues for fiction in general as well as for fiction in the dalit-scape of writing and discourse.

Neeti Singh is a translator and a poet who writes in English. She works with The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, as Associate Professor of English. Dr Singh’s doctoral research was on Bhakti Poetry in Medieval India, its Inception, Cultural Encounter and Impact, with Special Reference to the Work of Kabir and Nanak. She has published four books and over twenty research papers, till date.

How to connect: https://huji.zoom.us/j/89918634595?
PASSWORD to the session is the date of the session in the format DDMMYYYY. That is, if the session would be on December 1st 2020, the password would be 01122020. Please contact Marina
(marina.rimscha@mail.huji.ac.il) should you have trouble connecting.

Judith Misrahi-Barak, English Dept, EMMA, University Paul Valery Montpellier, France (judith.misrahi-barak@univ-montp3.fr);
Marina Rimscha, India-Indonesia Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (marina.rimscha@mail.huji.ac.il);
Nicole Thiara, Postcolonial Studies Centre, Nottingham Trent University, UK (nicole.thiara@ntu.ac.uk).



Dalit poetry with Satish Chandar

Dalit poetry with Satish Chandar
Monday, January 18th at 6 pm in India (2.30 pm Israel, 1.30 pm France, 12.30 pm UK)

Satish Chandar is a poet, short story writer, novelist, satirist, literary critic and a lexicographer. His works have been translated into Indian languages along with English. He is an editor of repute in Telugu speaking states, as he has launched and worked in many mainstream newspapers. He has received 11 awards for his contribution in literature and journalism. He has so far published 21 books including five collections of poetry. The Fifth Veda-Dalit Poetry is the 22nd and the first one in e-book format.
For this Open Borders Webinar, Satish Chandar will read a selection from his recently published collection, The Fifth Veda. This has 36 poems, which were originally written in Telugu and translated into English by the author himself. The period in which he wrote these poems spanned across three decades (1989 - 2018). He wrote on various atrocities against Dalits like the Tsundur massacre and occurences of caste discrimination such as Rohith Vemula’s suicide. The poems in the book have been categorized into classroom, love-marriage, village, land, language, worship, politics and race.

The reading will be followed by a discussion with the poet.

How to connect: https://huji.zoom.us/j/87426293683?
PASSWORD to the session is the date of the session in the format DDMMYYYY. That is, if the session would be on January 1st 2021, the password would be 01012021. Please contact Marina (marina.rimscha@mail.huji.ac.il) should you have trouble connecting.

Judith Misrahi-Barak, English Dept, EMMA, University Paul Valery Montpellier, France (judith.misrahi-barak@univ-montp3.fr);
Marina Rimscha, India-Indonesia Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (marina.rimscha@mail.huji.ac.il);
Nicole Thiara, Postcolonial Studies Centre, Nottingham Trent University, UK (nicole.thiara@ntu.ac.uk).



Writing Dalit Autobiography in Colonial India: The Story of Rettaimalai Srinivasan

Second event in the Webinar series Open Borders for Adivasi and Dalit Literature and Performing Arts

Writing Dalit Autobiography in Colonial India: The Story of Rettaimalai Srinivasan

Speakers :
Malarvizhi Jayanth (independent scholar)
J. Balasubramaniam ( Madurai Kamaraj University )

Monday, December 7th at 6 pm in India (2.30 pm Israel, 1.30 pm France, 12.30 pm UK)

How to connect:
PASSWORD to the session is the date of the session in the format DDMMYYYY. That is, if the session would be on December 1st 2020, the password would be 01122020. Please contact Marina
( marina.rimscha@mail.huji.ac.il ) should you have trouble connecting.

While Dalit autobiography is often demarcated as a genre that rose to prominence in the 1990s, the work of Rettaimalai Srinivasan (1860-1945) shows its longer genealogy. Late nineteenth-century and
early twentieth-century Dalit writing in Tamil such as his autobiography and other examples of  flourishing Dalit journalism and political engagement from the period are yet to be admitted into either
the literary canon or much of existing literary or political histories. Srinivasan was a Dalit leader in colonial India, whose autobiography, written and published in the Tamil language in 1938, is likely the
first Dalit autobiography. This book provides a missing piece of anti-caste history, detailing the work of a Dalit leader who stood by the national leader Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the struggle for freedom from
caste in colonial India. Rettaimalai Srinivasan is known at the national level for having accompanied Dr. Ambedkar to the Round Table Conference in London to discuss the question of equitable
representation. As he notes in one of his works, there were two kinds of freedom struggles being waged in colonial India – one against the British and the other against caste. In the anti-caste freedom
struggle, people fought for such freedoms as the right to walk on public streets and the right to represent their people on the international stage. Srinivasan notes in his autobiography that “I helped
people, not only in Madras Presidency, but all over India achieve national freedom and win their rights” – calling his struggle a freedom struggle then is consonant with the vocabulary that he himself used to
describe his work. Demonstrating the truly national scope of the anti-caste movement in late colonial India, his autobiography sheds light on the struggle for a different kind of freedom waged by Dalit
leaders of the time.
Srinivasan is slightly better known in the state of Tamil Nadu due to the publication of his autobiography and the pamphlets he published in Tamil. A forthcoming translation of his autobiography and newly
discovered letters and documents will demonstrate how he worked at the national level as well. His autobiography is more of a political biography, chronicling his work for the betterment of Dalit groups
both at the regional level in Madras Presidency and at the national level for British India. In it, he often conflates his well-being with that of Dalit castes as a whole. Along with his other work, this
autobiography further demonstrates his work as a national leader of the Depressed Classes (as the Dalit castes were known during the colonial period), especially during the Round Table Conference, the
runup to the Poona Pact, and in the campaign against opening up the Civil Service exam. He also published an open letter to Gandhi, detailing the nature of caste discrimination and protesting Gandhi's
support for separate schools for Pariah children. Together, his works demonstrate the vibrant diversity of Dalit political thought and action in late colonial India.



Breaking Barriers : a Conversation with Two Bengali Dalit Writers

We are pleased to announce the first event in the Webinar series Open Borders for Adivasi and Dalit Literature and Performing Arts 

  Breaking Barriers:  a Conversation with Two Bengali Dalit Writers
moderator and translator Dr. Runa Chakraborty Paunksnis is in an online conversation with  Raju Das and Namita Das

Tuesday, October 27th at 3pm in India (11.30am Israel, 10.30am France, 9.30am UK) 

How to connect: https://huji.zoom.us/j/85448072950? 

PASSWORD to the session is the date of the session in the format DDMMYYYY. That is, if the session would be on October 12th 2020, the password would be 12102020. Please contact Marina (marina.rimscha@mail.huji.ac.il) should you have trouble connecting.  

Breaking Barriers: Conversation with Two Bengali Dalit Writers  

Does caste matter in West Bengal? The question is not new anymore, but it has certainly not become a cliché. It still holds relevance given the hostility of the mainstream elite Bengali literary society which denounces the endeavour of Bengali Dalit writers to etch a separate identity of their own. Although the root of Bengali Dalit literature can be traced back to the late 19th century, it was not recognized at the national and international levels until recently. Authors such as Manoranjan Byapari and Kalyani Thakur Charal are no longer strangers to Indian readers and scholars studying Dalit literature. Yet, many contemporary Bengali Dalit writers who have the potential to bring significant changes in the field of Bengali literature and theatre are still not known to the wider reading public. Raju Das and Namita Das are two such names. The couple has been writing and performing Bengali Dalit plays for more than fifty years. Not only did they publish stories and anthologies of plays, they also founded their own drama groups. The first group “Shantikunjo Natuke Dol”, which was established in 1977, is still actively performing in and outside Kolkata. The second drama group “Shantikunjo Blind Natya Academy”, which has twenty-one visually –challenged actors, was established in 2009.  The zeal of Raju and Namita Das is truly admirable. Despite societal challenges and financial constraints they have been writing, performing and advocating Dalit rights with sincerity and dedication. 

“Breaking Barriers: Conversation with Two Bengali Dalit Writers” is an hour-long interactive session which will focus on the work of Raju Das and Namita Das and the challenges they encounter. The couple will perform a short play in Bengali, written and directed by them. The gist of the play along with introductory comments will be provided in English by the moderator before the beginning of the performance. The moderator will also read out an excerpt from the play which she has translated in English from the original Bengali version. Finally, there will be a question-answer session where the audience can interact with the performers. The aim of this session is to create space for meaningful critical dialogue which will enable us to break barriers between the “Centre” and the “Margins”.  

Dr. Runa Chakraborty Paunksnis
Runa is currently teaching at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities in Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. Her research areas include Dalit Literature, Gender and Media studies. Her scholarly writings have been published in several peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. Runa is also a creative writer and translator. Her translated stories have been published by the Orient BlackSwan and Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, India. 

Judith Misrahi-Barak, English Dept, EMMA, University Paul Valery Montpellier, France (judith.misrahi-barak@univ-montp3.fr);
Marina Rimscha, India-Indonesia Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (marina.rimscha@mail.huji.ac.il);
Nicole Thiara, Postcolonial Studies Centre, Nottingham Trent University, UK (nicole.thiara@ntu.ac.uk).  




2014-2016: AHRC Network – Dalit Literatures

For all follow-ups please check this website: https://dalitliterature.wordpress.com

Principal Investigator Dr Nicole Thiara, Centre for Postcolonial Studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK; nicole.thiara@ntu.ac.uk
Co-Investigator Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak, EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France; judith.misrahi-barak@univ-montp3.fr

Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literatures

The quality of literature created by one of the most oppressed and silenced communities in India is to be researched and brought to new audiences for the very first time by a team working under Nottingham Trent University’s Centre for Postcolonial Studies, in partnership with the research centre EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France.

Dalits, formerly referred to as Untouchables, are at the bottom of India’s caste system and form roughly 20% of the country’s population. Writing by the Dalit community has up until now been almost exclusively explored from a sociological and historical perspective, and has rarely been analysed for its literary quality.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the research will be led by Dr Nicole Thiara, lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Arts and Humanities, and Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak, lecturer in English at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France, within the research centre EMMA.

Dalit literature and its representation and assertion of marginalised cultures is the most significant development in Indian literature in the last three decades. It is often highly innovative in its form, narrative perspective and use of language but so far only the work of a few Dalit authors has been translated into English and other European languages.

It has not yet received the international recognition it deserves because there has been very little research which allows non-experts to engage with these unique texts.

The project aims to create a research network which puts Dalit literary texts into context and makes them accessible to a wider audience, while also analysing them as literary artefacts, drawing on the methods of literary criticism and postcolonial and feminist theory.

As part of its Research Network series ‘Translating Cultures’, the AHRC will fund a series of conferences, workshops and other events that are exclusively dedicated to the analysis of this previously almost ‘invisible’ literature outside of India.

Establishing an international dialogue between key researchers in the areas of Dalit literature, the project will foster a close collaboration between UK and European academics working in the field of literary and cultural studies and Indian scholars researching in this field, as well as cultivating contacts with authors, translators and publishers of Dalit literature.

The Advisory Board consists of Laura Brueck (Northwestern University, Chicago), Toral Jatin Gajarawala (New York State University), Aniket Jaaware (Pune University), Sharan Kumar Limbale, Sanal Mohan (Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam); Pramod Nayar (University of Hyderabad), Anupama Rao (Columbia University, New York), K. Satyanarayana (EFL-U, Hyderabad) and John Zavos (University of Manchester).

A blog, volumes of edited essays, special editions of academic journals and articles in peer-reviewed journals will also allow non-experts in South Asian Studies, researchers in literary studies, students and the public to engage with this work.






Rencontres autour des littératures dalit et adivasi

12, 13 et 14 mars à Paris


Lorsque l’on parle de littérature indienne en employant des termes comme Dalit ou Adivasi, le regard de l’interlocuteur s’assombrit parfois, non par animosité ou par méfiance, mais par méconnaissance : ne peut-on simplement parler de littérature indienne ? N’est-ce pas suffisant que l’Inde soit l’Invitée d’honneur du Salon du Livre 2020 à Paris ?

Une série de rencontres-lectures dans les médiathèques Hélène Berr et Françoise Sagan, ainsi qu’à la Bibliothèque Marguerite Audoux, a été pensée pour offrir une autre perspective et faciliter la découverte de ces littératures riches et complexes, résolument plurielles. Elles sont des occasions de rencontres avec des auteurs dont l’œuvre est connue en Inde mais dont la voix n’est pas encore suffisamment entendue en France, que ces auteur.e.s parlent pour celles et ceux qu’on appelait encore récemment les Intouchables, pour les populations encore trop souvent dites tribales, ou encore des femmes marginalisées, des catégories souvent mises au ban de la société indienne.

Née dans les années 1970, la littérature dalit, d’un mot marathi qui signifie ce qui est brisé, écrasé, opprimé, est par essence une littérature de combat social et politique et, tout comme la jeune littérature adivasi, une littérature de résistance et d’engagement. Si cette littérature est l’un des développements les plus passionnants de la deuxième moitié du XXème siècle en Inde, elle nous parle aussi de sujets actuels brûlants qui nous concernent toutes et tous : la lutte contre les fondamentalismes, le respect de l’environnement naturel qui nous héberge, le chemin difficile vers la paix entre les individus, les communautés, les peuples.

Les intervenant.e.s
Poètes: Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy (kannada); Jacinta Kerketta (hindi); Jameela Nishat (urdu, deccani)
Traductrices: Annie Montaut, Uma Damodar Sridhar
Réalisateur : Nicolas Jaoul (CNRS)
Editions Banyan (à confirmer)
Modératrices: Judith Misrahi-Barak (EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3) et Nicole Thiara (Nottingham Trent University)


Jeudi 12 mars, Médiathèque Hélène Berr, 19h
Les littératures dalit et adivasi : des littératures indiennes à la marge de l'Inde ?

Présentation des littératures dalit et adivasi dans le contexte des littératures indiennes mises à l'honneur au Salon du Livre de Paris 2020

Vendredi 13 mars, Médiathèque Françoise Sagan, 19h
La poésie dalit et adivasi au croisement des langues

Poètes, traducteurs et éditeurs en dialogue : les littératures dalit et adivasi dans le contexte des littératures indiennes mises à l'honneur au Salon du Livre de Paris 2020

Samedi 14 mars, Bibliothèque Marguerite Audoux, 15h30 et 18h
. Le Temps de la Lutte (2018, 105 minutes), 15h30
Projection du documentaire Sangharsh en présence du réalisateur Nicolas Jaoul
nous replonge dans l’univers militants des Dalit Panthers, les Black Panthers de l’Inde, à la fin des années 1990. Une discussion avec le réalisateur suivra la projection.

Les littératures indiennes : Rencontre avec la poésie dalit et adivasi, 18h
Les voix de la poésie : à l'écoute de la littérature dalit et adivasi dans le contexte des littératures indiennes à l'honneur au Salon du Livre de Paris 2020


Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy, né en 1954 dans le petit village de Mudnakudu près de Bangalore au Karnataka, écrit une poésie engagée qui s’efforce de faire entendre la discrimination et les souffrances quotidiennes dont les Dalits (anciens Intouchables) sont victimes dans l’Inde d’aujourd’hui. Sa poésie demande l’éradication des castes, l’abolition de la notion d’intouchabilité et de sa pratique. Pourtant, ses poèmes ne puisent leur force ni dans la rage ni dans l’activisme politique, mais plutôt dans l’expérience vécue de l’humiliation et dans la philosophie bouddhiste dont l’auteur pense qu’elle peut être source d’émancipation pour les Dalits. A une époque où, depuis le début du XXIème siècle et plus encore depuis 2014, le fondamentalisme hindou ne cesse de prendre force et vigueur, Chinnaswamy offre une vision de la société indienne qui contraste fortement avec l’image parfois fantasmée par le monde occidental.
Poète kannada reconnu mais aussi auteur de nouvelles, de pièces de théâtre et d’essais depuis le début des années 1980, Chinnaswamy a été récompensé par le Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award en 2009 et par le Karnataka State Rajyotsava Award en 2014. Avec douceur et détermination, il a bousculé les canons littéraires de la poésie de langue kannada qui, avant lui, n’avait pas autorisé l’utilisation du vers libre.
Ses poèmes ont été traduits dans plusieurs langues indiennes (marathi, hindi, bengali, telugu, malayalam et urdu) ainsi qu’en espagnol et en anglais grâce à une collaboration avec Rowena Hill (Before it Rains again, erbacce-press, 2016). Les Editions Banyan mettent ses poèmes à la disposition d’un public francophone pour la première fois. La traduction est, là encore, le fruit d’un travail collaboratif entre Latha Narayanan, Judith Misrahi-Barak et le poète.

Jacinta Kerketta est née en 1983 dans un village du Jharkhand, région reculée de l’est de l’Inde. Auteure prolifique, poétesse et journaliste freelance, Kerketta écrit en hindi et fait entendre une voix qui demande protection et respect pour les Adivasis, ces communautés indigènes dont elle porte haut et clair les cultures et les valeurs. Son engagement se manifeste aussi par ses activités d’éducatrice auprès d’adolescentes dans les villages.
Il est rare de pouvoir entendre des voix des Adivasis, qui représentent pourtant plus de 8,5% de la population indienne, soit plus de 100 millions de personnes.
La poésie de Kerketta naît du sentiment de révolte contre la dépossession et l’exploitation brutale dont les Adivasis sont victimes. Mais elle s’offre aussi comme une invitation à découvrir ce monde culturellement si riche. Lieux, plantes et coutumes sont là, à portée de vers, dans toute leur présence. Sa voix est intensément politique et lyrique. Même sans connaître le détail du combat pour les droits à la terre des Adivasis, le lecteur peut entrer en contact avec ce monde bien loin de l‘Europe mais où il est invité à entrer, généreusement et avec humanité.
Kerketta a publié deux recueils de poèmes : Angor (2016) et Jaron ki zamin / Land of the Roots (2018). Un troisième est en préparation. Parmi les prix qu’elle a reçus, on recense Indigenous Voice of Asia Award (2014), Ravishankar Upadhyay Memorial Youth Poetry Award (2015) et Aparajita Award du journal Prabhat Khabar (2017). Sa poésie a déjà été traduite dans de nombreuses langues indiennes, en plus de l’anglais et de l’allemand. Annie Montaut est sa traductrice pour les Editions Banyan.

Jameela Nishat est née en 1955 et vit à Hyderabad où elle s’est imposée comme une figure importante de la littérature en urdu dans l’état de l’Andhra Pradesh mais aussi à l’échelle nationale. Féministe, activiste et poète, elle a commencé très jeune à écrire de la poésie et a publié trois recueils. Très engagée en faveur de la cause des femmes violentées et discriminées, elle a créé et dirige le ‘Shaheen Resource Centre for Women & Welfare Association’ dans le quartier de Sultan Shahi, dans la vieille ville d’Hyderabad. Le gouvernement de l’Andhra Pradesh (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) lui a octroyé le prix ‘Andhra Pradesh Adhikara Bhasha Sangham’ pour son action en faveur de la langue Deccani (2007). Elle a reçu le prix ‘Satguru Gnyananand Award’ (2006), ainsi que le ‘Devi Award’ pour son engagement pour la poésie (The New Indian Express, 2015). Elle a aussi remporté le prestigieux ‘Ladli Award for Best Radio Play’ pour la pièce de théâtre radiophonique intitulée ‘Jawani Diwani’ (2012). 


Nicolas Jaoul est anthropologue au CNRS, spécialisé sur le mouvement anti-castes en Inde. Il a suivi les enseignements de Jean Rouch à Nanterre et s'intéresse aux liens entre cinéma et mouvements politiques. Filmé durant son enquête de thèse à la fin des années 1990, et monté en 2017 par Gilles Volta, « Sangharsh. Le temps de la lutte » est son premier long métrage. Il a récemment réalisé son second long métrage, « Bariz (Paris), le temps des campements » (Iskra, 2020, 69 mn) sur la mobilisation des migrants à Paris durant l'été 2015.

Judith Misrahi-Barak, ancienne élève de l’ENS et agrégée d’anglais, est Maître de conférence-HDR à l’Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, où elle enseigne au Département d’études anglophones. Son domaine de spécialisation est la littérature caribéenne et indo-caribéenne anglophone, les écritures diasporiques et migrantes, ainsi que plus récemment la littérature dalit, à propos de laquelle elle a co-édité deux volumes critiques :  Dalit Literatures in India (Routledge 2015 ; 2ème édition 2018) et Dalit Text: Aesthetics and Politics Reimagined (Routledge 2019). Aux côtés de Nicole Thiara, elle a contribué à la mise en place de réseaux internationaux pour valoriser les littératures Dalit (AHRC Network Grant, 2014-16 ; AHRC Follow-on Funding, 2020-21) en tant que Co-Responsable.
Elle est responsable de la série PoCoPages (Collection « Horizons anglophones », Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, Montpellier).

Annie Montaut, ancienne élève de l’ENS et agrégée de lettres, rattachée au laboratoire SeDyL, UMR 8202 (INALCO/CNRS/IRD), et associée au CEIAS (EHESS/CNRS), a enseigné au Canada, en Inde et en France. Elle est professeur émérite de langue et littérature hindi à l’INALCO. Outre la linguistique, elle s’intéresse aux questions de poétique et de stylistique dans le domaine sud-asiatique et notamment hindi, ainsi qu’à la traduction littéraire. Parmi la quinzaine d’ouvrages qu’elle a traduits, Nirmal Verma (2), Krishna Baldev Vaid (6), Jainendra Kumar, Alka Saraogi, Geetanjali Shree, Kedarnath Singh, Anupam Mishra, Ashis Nandy, Bacchan, Gandhi.

Uma Damodar Sridhar est depuis 2009 Assistant Professor au département d’études françaises et francophones de l'English and Foreign Languages University à Hyderabad. Avant d’intégrer l’université, elle a exercé à l’Alliance Française de Hyderabad comme directrice-adjointe, professeur de FLE et traductrice, et a passé un an à Paris pour suivre la formation du CREDIF.
Ses domaines de recherche portent sur la traduction, la didactique du FLE et la communication interculturelle. En Octobre 2015, elle a été Professeur en Mobilité Universitaire à l’unité de recherche en langues PRAXILING à l’Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3. Elle a publié des nouvelles telougou traduites en francais (2019) ainsi qu’un recueil de traduction de poésie de Jameela Nishat, Butterfly Caresses (2015) du dakhni à l’anglais. Elle fait partie actuellement d’un projet de traduction de l’ICHR (Indian Council of Historical Research) sur les récits de voyageurs français du 18e siècle en Inde.

Nicole Thiara enseigne les littératures contemporaines et postcoloniales anglophones à l’Université de Nottingham Trent, au Royaume Uni. Son domaine de spécialisation est la littérature dalit et adivasi ainsi que celles des diasporas de l’Asie du sud. Son projet de recherche actuel porte sur la représentation de la modernité dans la littérature dalit. Responsable Principale du projet subventionné par AHRC ‘Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature’ (2014-16), elle porte à nouveau le projet 'On Page and on Stage: Celebrating Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts', également subventionné par AHRC (2020-21).


2012-2014: “Key Cultural Texts in Translation”


Principal investigator: Prof. Kirsten Malmkjær (University of Leicester, UK). Partners: Dr Adriana Serban (University of Montpellier 3, France) and Prof. Meifang Zhang (University of Macao, China).

Financed by the AHRC Research Networking Scheme “Translating Cultures” 

Publication: https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/btl.140/main

In the context of increased movement across borders, this book examines how key cultural texts and concepts are transferred between nations and languages as well as across different media. The texts examined in this book are considered fundamental to their source culture and can also take on a particular relevance to other (target) cultures. The chapters investigate cultural transfers and differences realised through translation and reflect critically upon the implications of these with regard to matters of cultural identity. The book offers an important contribution to cultural approaches in translation studies, with ramifications across different disciplines, including literary studies, history, philosophy, and gender studies. The chapters offer a range of cultural and methodological frameworks and are written by scholars from a variety of language and cultural backgrounds, Western and Eastern.


Dernière mise à jour : 07/09/2021