Mohammed Fairouz: "We Don't Live in a Post-Colonial World"
Mohammed Fairouz (right) and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Katrina Weber Ashour and I recently attended a premiere of Mohammed Fairouz's Symphony #3 and a panel discussion, both at Columbia University. The issues that came up at the panel, titled "Music, Literature, and Comparative Compositions: The Task of Translation" were heady and challenging. What right does an artist have to put the prayers of other traditions on stage? What loyalties does an an artist have to his or her own traditions? Questions that can't, ultimately, be answered but lead to provocative conversation. Panelists included Sinan Antoon, moderator Gayatra Chakravorty Spivak Michael P. Steinberg, and Jacqueline Rose. Katrina and I wrote a piece for M. Lynx Qualey's Arabic Literature in Translation.