Intended as an intensive translation workshop for major works of Kashmiri poetry, the first edition of Simurgh Project ran for 9 days in June 2015, in Kashmir. Our time was divided between lectures on themes, images, tropes and genres in Kashmiri poetry by senior poets, writers and critics and close readings of our selected texts with them in Srinagar. This was followed by 4 days of intensive translation work in Pahalgam, each translator being given individual attention as well getting the benefit of group work and collaborative sessions. There were also guided discussions about issues and concerns in the practise of translation.
Participating translators were asked to choose poets and texts that they believe constitute landmarks and milestones in the language, representing its rich, multi-layered and complex history. Participants confronted such critical issues as unstable texts from the oral tradition, meanings and interpretations from esoteric mystical traditions that colour poetry and how to carry form and structure when translating into another language. Looking towards an eventual publication, our participants continue to work on their translations individually, together and with the help and support of our mentors.
Our Kashmiri language mentors are:
* Ghulam Rasool Malik, Translator, Critic and Former Professor of English, Kashmir University
* Mohammad Yousuf Taing, Researcher, Biographer, Editor and Former Director, Jammu and Kashmir Academy for Art, Culture and Languages
* Naseem Shafaie, Poet
* Neerja Mattoo, Translator and Former Principal Government Women’s College, Srinagar
* Rafiq Raaz, Poet and Critic
* Rashid Majrooh, Poet and Professor of Kashmiri Language, Kashmir University
* Rehman Rahi, Jnanpith award-winning Poet and Former Professor of Kashmiri Language and Literature, Kashmir University
* Shafi Shauq, Poet, Critic and Former Head of Department of Kashmiri Language and Literature, Kashmir University
Our participating translators are:
* Gowhar Yaqoob
* Heena Khan
* Kirti Kaul
* Maroof Shah
* Mufti Mudasir
* Neelima Mam Wazir
* Sonam Kachru
Selected works by the following poets are under discussion and translation: Lal Ded, Nund Rishi, Sheikh-ul-Alam, Habibullah Ghanai, Habba Khatoon, Parmanand, Soch Kraal, Mahmud Gami, Maqbool Shah Kralwari, Rasul Mir, Shamas Faqir, Krishan Joo Razdan, Wahab Khar, AA Nadim, Mehjoor, AA Azad, Zinda Koul, AA Zargar, Dina Nath Nadim, Amin Kamil, Rehman Rahi.
Planned as an on-going series of workshops over the next few years, the Simurgh project is in collaboration with and supported by Aditi: Foundation for the Arts.
Aditi: Foundation for the Arts supports arts organisations and academic institutions to promote and fund the practice and scholarship of Indian artistic and literary traditions. It has collaborated with The American Institute of Indian Studies, India Foundation for the Arts, McMaster University and the World Music Institute. The Foundation also supports the Dhvani Translation Fellowship at Sangam House.
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