Trying out Translation

Summer started for me on May 8th, but I didn’t build up the motivation to start my summer work until three weeks later. I kept telling myself that I could wait until I moved back to campus and was in an environment more conducive to serious work. Of course, once I arrived in Williamsburg, I needed a few days to “relax.” The reason for my procrastination was my memory of attempting to start the translation at the beginning of last semester. Before academics took over any outside work, I spent one night translating and completed a total of two pages. As a result, I was slightly anxious that this whole project might have been a little too much for my skill level and patience for slow work.

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Sonja Paviour Abstract


Fall semester of 2011 I took a sophomore seminar on Cuban Film. We took a multidisciplinary approach in studying films that trace Cuban history from before and after the reign of Castro. Professor Stock exposed us to a range of documentaries – some reportorial and others more abstract but all reflected constructions of Cuban national identity. One of my favorite directors, Esteban Insausti, had a more radical approach and took his camera out in the streets to document the struggles and joys experienced by Cuba’s homeless – “los locos.” Most of the documentaries that we previously encountered had focused on what about Cuba’s political and social obstacles were uniquely Cuban – Insausti, by contrast, illustrated how their fights were in fact universal. One of the homeless men that he interviewed in his film Existen,They Exist”, tells Insausti that “en la vida cubana, lo mejor estar alegre.” In Cuban life, it is best to be happy.

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