Translations and decolonisation of the Kurdish diaspora
in Diaspora as translation and decolonisation
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This chapter examines the translational activities, interventions and undoings of the Kurdish diaspora in Europe. It reveals how those in the Kurdish diaspora carries out translations of their ethno-political identity to two specific audiences: other Kurds in Europe and their non-Kurdish fellow European citizens. The chapter shows heuristically how some of the conceptualisations from previous chapters can be applied, but also how they can be extended further, including how diasporic mobilisations can be conceptualised by placing them in the Global South/Global North axis, examining their engagements with the Global North.

The chapter provides an overview of Kurdish diaspora in Europe and discusses the methods employed before going on to explore in detail how translating the Kurdish identity and struggle in Europe involves strategies of rewriting, domesticating and also foreignising. It identifies similarities and differences in the how translations are offered to different audiences in Europe, reveals the futility of cravings for authenticity and shows how the translational activities of the Kurdish diaspora play a central role in transnationalising their battles, exposing links between their predicament, coloniality and the Global North. The chapter also considers how Kurdish indigenous identity is being anchored via translations and decolonisations of the Kurdish diaspora – that is, by those who initially had to dis-anchor themselves from their homeland. The chapter thus shows that we can uproot indigeneity, yet embed transnationality.


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