Literary translation

Meet the World: River in an Ocean

Tuesday 23 July
19.00 - 20.00

Join Yasmine Haj, Nedra Rodrigo, and Lisa Ndejuru, as they discuss writing, translation, memory and displacement in relation to Palestine, Sri Lanka and Rwanda.

What are the histories, constraints, and possibilities of language in relation to bodies, origins, land, colonialism, gender, war, displacement, desire, and migration? 


Moving across genres, memories, belongings, and borders, the luminous texts gathered within River in an Ocean: Essays on Translation invite us to consider translation as a form of ethical and political love – one that requires attentive regard of an other – and a making and unmaking of self.

This conversation will be moderated by Nuzhat Abbas, editor of the anthology and founder-director of trace press



This event is in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation

Yasmine Haj was born in Nazareth, Palestine and is a writer, editor, and translator, currently working with the arts organization, Mophradat. Her writings and translations have appeared in Assafir, Assafir Al Arabi, Asymptote, Best American Experimental Writing, Romman, Specimen, TNI, Turning Point Books, and in projects published by the A.M. Qattan Foundation. She co-facilitated trace: translating [x]/ ARABIC workshops in 2022-2023, and is co-editor of its forthcoming collection (trace, 2024). Her essay “Rast” appears in River in an Ocean: Essays on Translation (trace, 2023)   


Nedra Rodrigo is a translator, academic, and curator of multi-arts events. She translated Prison of Dreams, a quintet of novels by Devakanthan, and other writings and translations have appeared in Kalam, Briarpatch, C Magazine, Studies in Canadian Literature, Human Rights and the Arts: Essays on Global Asia; Words and Worlds, Jaggery Lit, and Still We Sing: Voices on Violence Against Women. She is the founder of the Tamil Studies Symposium at York University, and the bilingual reading series The Tam Fam Lit Jam. She co-facilitated trace: translating [x]/ TAMIL workshops in 2022-2023 and is co-editor of its forthcoming collection (trace, 2024). Her essay “Crossing Terrains: Unsettling Tinai while Translating Tamil” appears in River in an Ocean: Essays on Translation (trace, 2023) 


Dr. Lisa Ndejuru is an academic, psychotherapist, oral historian and community artist. She experiments with storytelling, play, and improvised theatre and works with survivors of large-scale political violence to create accessible, scalable, non-medicalized strategies for healing and change. She received Concordia University’s Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Prize and was a Concordia public scholar in 2017, the first John F. Lemieux fellow for genocide studies in 2018, and a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto in 2020. Lisa is currently activating an archive of Rwandan precolonial ibitekerezo wisdom tales. 


Nuzhat Abbas is writer, editor, educator and publisher. Born in Zanzibar, she has lived and worked in various parts of the world teaching courses on literature, gender, conflict and migration; facilitating art and writing projects for refugees and immigrants; curating grassroots cultural events and festivals; and working with feminist and independent collectives, bookstores and non-profit organizations. She is the founder and director of trace press, and editor of River in an Ocean: Essays on Translation (trace, 2023).