Translating political satire from Egypt

Led by Dr Reem Abou-El-Fadl, translator and senior lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East at SOAS

How can translators capture voices of dissent in their specific contexts? In this workshop, students tackle the particular challenge of political satire – creatively rendering irony, ridicule, parody, and caricature – and discover how its use in popular culture can amplify mass grievances. Students will collectively translate a satirical song by protest artists from 1970s Egypt, whose repertoire was revitalised in Tahrir Square in 2011. They will discover the richness of Arabic, with its formal form and diverse dialects, and how to achieve satirical effect by ‘code-switching’ between them. When it comes to the Arab world and its associations, the workshop will be as much about learning as unlearning, and will promote values of empathy and solidarity.

Book a workshop series at your school