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V for Vendetta or… Version?

REVOLUTION. RIVOLUZIONE. RÉVOLUTION. REVOLIUTZIA. Whether in English, Italian, French or Russian, the word sounds pretty much the same. That is so because the term finds its roots in the Latin REVOLUTIO, which means “a turn around”. Odd enough, that’s not where the concept, as we know and use it nowadays, comes from. Apparently, it was Copernicus who first used the term “revolution”, in a scientific and not in the political way we refer to the term today, to refer to the planets’ movement around the sun. It’s supposed to mean “transformation”. But for those of us with a bit of a cynic vision, it might just well refer to a certain version of the same order. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s idealistic feelings, but hey… “Revolution” as a word conveying social meaning was first coined in 1688, during the early days of the United Kingdom, to express a change, a transformation in the political field: James II was replaced by William III. In other words –no pun intended- the power just went from one fancy prince to another fancier one. Nevertheless, social changes haven’t stopped to be defined by the term “revolution”, worldwide, ever since. Was it ever about true changes, real transformations? Or just about different scenarios in the same world ruled by the same humankind, that is, about versions of reality?

As we speak, there’s an ongoing revolution that captured the hearts and minds of those crazy enough to think they can change the world by pacifically expressing their dissatisfaction with the current Western political and socio-economic order and requesting “real democracy now”.  I am talking about the “Spanish Revolution”. Not about the 1936 one, but about this 2011 brand new version of the Spanish Revolution.

No need to go deep into details about the ideological gaps between mainstream mass media and the bunch of kids sitting down at Puerta del Sol, Gandhi style, calling themselves “Indignant” and demanding a future. What does deserve a paragraph though is the huge echo that this protest and its police repression have had in the new versions of mass media –the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube-. We’re talking about this revolution within the most recent revolutionary communication technologies. From Spain to Egypt, from Syria to Great Britain, from Argentina to France, from Germany to Russia, the streets have been filled with indignant protesters and the same claims. Well, a couple of claims and their respective local versions…  Because every social claim has infinite local tints, just as every word has almost 7,000 ways of being said in different existing languages. Translating a word must always consider the concept conveyed. Facebook shows it: the Spanish Revolution receives lots of support from all over the world, in many different languages. However, the interpretations of what’s going on differ from one language to another, as political traditions may vary from one place to another. That’s why translation and transcreation go together, just like revolution and transformation go hand in hand. And yet, both revolutions and translations lead to the same result. They’re meant to give us many different versions of the same sort of reality.

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