With the increased integration in the 21st century of the internet and digital technologies into our daily interactions and ways of engagement with life, new audience profiles emerged for mass media consumerism. Viewers are becoming more involved in the process of media dissemination with a hands-on attitude that creates a plethora of possibilities for the “afterlife”- as Walter Benjamin might have called it- of media products. Research on contemporary reception trends refers in this vein to such concepts as media convergence, participatory culture and civic engagement.
Participation on the part of the audience, which can be traced back to fandom activities that had been emerging in the media consumption trends of the late 1980s and early 1990s, has increased to become a feature of today’s digital culture (Jenkins, 2006; Orrego-Carmona, 2018). The ability to determine, to some degree, the afterlife of a media product has endowed the audience with a certain power (albeit a relative one) that signalled “uneasy convergences of the market and non-market modes of cultural production” (Burgess & Green, 2009, p. 75). The appropriation of mass media products using amateur skills and the incorporation therefore of “folk culture practices” (Jenkins, 2006, p. 246) into the experience of media consumerism indicated a bottom-up, grassroots involvement with what previously had been accessible only to the central authorities and the corporate production machinery. Beyond fandom activity, such participation has the potential to empower media users in the realm of civic engagement and political activism through “exercis[ing] the civic imagination” (Jenkins & Shresthova, 2016, p. 258) towards, hopefully, more democratic futures.
In this chapter, I will discuss audio-visual translation (AVT) within the framework of digital culture and civic engagement and how it can be used as bottom-up new media resistance to top-down mass media production strategies. Regarding such engagement as a form of translation criticism, I will offer a case study through which I observe how Arab consumers of translated (dubbed) Turkish TV drama, particularly the Kurtlar Vadisi [valley of wolves] series, react to strategies of dubbing and censorship that are politically motivated and express their criticism via new media outlets using creative methods that involve translation. I will explain my theoretical framework and methodology in the second part, before moving in the third part to the discussion of my case study. I will conclude with some remarks on audience participation and the role of digital culture in facilitating new expressions of translation criticism.
Keywords: Digital Media, Translation, audio-visual translation
Abdo, G. (2013). The new sectarianism: The Arab uprisings and the rebirth of the Shi‘a-Sunni divide. Washington, D.C.: Brookings.
Alankuş, S. & Yanardağoğlu, E. (2016). Vacillation in Turkey’s popular global TV exports: toward a more complex understanding of distribution. International Journal of Communication, 10, 3615-3631.
Al-Rasheed, M. (2015). The Wahhabis and the Ottoman caliphate: The memory of historical antagonism. In M. Al-Rasheed, C. Kersten & M. Shterin (Eds.), Demystifying the caliphate: Historical memory and contemporary contexts (pp. 117-134). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Arslan, F. (2006). KurtlarVadisi Fenomeni. Lulu. E-book.
Benjamin, W. (2000). The task of the translator. In L. Venuti (Ed.), The translation studies reader (pp. 15-25). London, UK: Routledge.
Buccinati, A. (2010). Turkish soap operas in the Arab world: social liberation or cultural alienation?.Arab Media & Society. Retrieved from https://www.arabmediasociety.com/turkish-soap-operas-in-the-arab-world-social-liberation-or-cultural-alienation/.
Burgess, J. & Green, J. (2009). YouTube: Online video and participatory culture. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Deuze, M. (2006). Participation, remediation, bricolage: Considering principal components of a digital culture. The Information Society, 22, 63–75.
Disney Channel Added in the Middle East. (1996, December 2). The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/02/business/disney-channel-added-in-the-middle-east.html.
Encrypted Reality. (2011). About [YouTube Channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/EncryptedReality4/about.
Encrypted Reality. (2012, April 2). Taḥrīf al-dablajafīmusalsalWādī al-Dhiʾāb al-juzʾ al-khāmis . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVdMmI3QMgw&fbclid=IwAR0S6tghpv11aVDz-hYR7QN1njbkjh_GwnmLZjPOPgLeCJ6LiBt3QOWIgOY.
Farḥāt, ʿA. (2017). Qanāt al-ShurūqwatīmāWādī al-Dhiʾāb. Al-Omah. Retreived from https://al-omah.com/3021-2/.
Pérez-González, L. (2012). Amateur subtitling as immaterial labour in digital media culture: An emerging paradigm of civic engagement. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 19(2), 157-175.
Gamal, M. Y. (2007). Audiovisual translation in the Arab world: A changing scene. Translation Watch Quarterly, 3(2), 78-95.
Gamal, M. Y. (2008, May). Egypt’s audiovisual scene. Arab Media & Society. Retrieved from Academia, https://www.academia.edu/7450964/Egypts_audiovisual_translation_scene.
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York, NY: New York University Press.
Jenkins, H. & Shresthova, S. (2016). “It’s called giving a shit!”: What counts as “politics”?. In H. Jenkins, S. Shresthova, L. Gamber-Thompson, N. Kligler-Vilenchik & A. M. Zimmerman (Eds.), By any media necessary: The new youth activism (pp. 253-289). New York, NY: New York University Press.
Kamāl al-Zaydī. (2012a, April 17). Al-maqtaʿ al-maḥdhūfmin al-juzʾ al-khāmisʿalāqanāt Abu Dhabi . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ8GOjUYsRE.
Kamāl al-Zaydī. (2012b, April 17). Qanāt Abu Dhabi tuḥārib al-ImāmʿAlīʿaleyh al-salām . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VjzqdpR6bY.
KurtlarVadisiPusu. (2018). Ansiklodedi. Retreived from https://www.ansiklodedi.com/cwiki/wiki/Kurtlar-Vadisi-Pusu.
KurtlarVadisiPusu. (2014, July 27). Kurtlar Vadisi Pusu 104. bölüm . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWeHei5IUkg.
Majidi, M. (Director). (2015). Muhammad: The messenger of God [film]. Noor-e-Taban Film Company Production, Infinite Production Company GmbH.
Maluf, R. (2003, December 19). Dubbing into Arabic: A Trojan horse at the gates?. Labanese American University. Retrieved from https://inhouse.lau.edu.lb/bima/papers/Dubbing.pdf.
Muharremayı Aşura Günü’nün Müslümanlar, Alevilerve Şiileriçinönemi. (2014, October 30). Star. Retrieved from https://www.star.com.tr/guncel/muharrem-ayi-asura-gununun-muslumanlar-aleviler-ve-siiler-icin-onemi-haber-959268/.
Nasr, V. (2006). The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company Inc.
Onat, H. (1997). Şiiliğindoğuşumeselesi (Birincihicrîasır). Ankara Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, 36, 79-117.
Orrego-Carmona, D. (2018). New audiences, international distribution, and translation. In E. Di Giovanni & Y. Gambier (Eds.), Reception Studies and Audiovisual Translation (pp. 321-342). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Qarqābu, S. (2009-2010). Āliyyāt al-dablajafī al-ʿālam al-ʿArabī: Dirāsataḥlīliyya li fīlmʿUmar al-Mukhtār [translation mechanisms in the Arab world: an analytic study of the movie Lion of the Desert] (unpublished MA thesis). University of Oran, Oran, Algeria.
Robinson, K. (2020, January 22). What is Hezbollah?.Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-hezbollah.
Salamandra, C. (2010). Dramatizing Damascus: The cultural politics of Arab television production in the satellite era. Personal collection of C. Salamandra, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Shannūf, Kh. (2017, September 26). ʿĀshūrāʾ: Baynafaraḥ al-Sunna waḥuzn al-Shiʿa. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.net/blogs/blogs/2017/9/26/عاشوراء-بين-فرح-السنة-وحزن-الشيعة.
Sheikh Saleh Kamel, Chairman of the Board, ART. (1998, May 1). Arab Media & Society. Retrieved from https://www.arabmediasociety.com/sheikh-saleh-kamel-chairman-of-the-board-art/.
Wādī al-Dhiʾāb (Musalsal). (2020). Marefa. Retreived from https://www.marefa.org/وادي_الذئاب_(مسلسل).
Withnall, A. (2016, January 5). The Middle East divide between Sunni and Shia explained in one map. Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-middle-east-divide-between-sunni-and-shia-explained-in-one-map-a6797796.html.
Yahiaoui, R. (2016). Ideological constraints in dubbing The Simpsons into Arabic. Other Modernities, 2, 182-200.