19:35
TEDGlobal 2007

Chris Abani: Telling stories from Africa

Kris Abani o pričama o Africi

Filmed:

U ovom duboko ličnom govoru, nigerijksi pisac Kris Abani (Chris Abani) kaže da "ono što znamo o tome kako biti ono što jesmo" dolazi iz priča. On traži srce Afrike kroz priče i pesme o njoj, uključujući i sopstvene.

- Novelist, poet
Imprisoned three times by the Nigerian government, Chris Abani turned his experience into poems that Harold Pinter called "the most naked, harrowing expression of prison life and political torture imaginable." His novels include GraceLand (2004) and The Virgin of Flames (2007). Full bio

I just heard the best joke about Bond Emeruwa.
Upravo sam čuo najbolji vic o Bondu Emeruvi.
00:25
I was having lunch with him just a few minutes ago,
Ručao sam sa njim pre par minuta,
00:28
and a Nigerian journalist comes -- and this will only make sense
kada je došao nigerijski novinar - i ovo će jedino imati smisla
00:31
if you've ever watched a James Bond movie --
ako ste ikada gledali Džejms Bond film -
00:33
and a Nigerian journalist comes up to him and goes,
i nigerijski novinar dolazi do njega i kaže,
00:36
"Aha, we meet again, Mr. Bond!"
"Aha, opet se srećemo gospodine Bond!"
00:38
(Laughter)
(smeh)
00:41
It was great.
Ah, sjajno.
00:43
So, I've got a little sheet of paper here,
Dakle, imam ovde mali papir,
00:44
mostly because I'm Nigerian and if you leave me alone,
najviše zbog toga što sam Nigerijac i ako me pustite,
00:48
I'll talk for like two hours.
pričaću dva sata, otprilike.
00:50
I just want to say good afternoon, good evening.
Ali, želim samo da kažem dobar dan, dobro veče.
00:52
It's been an incredible few days.
Bilo je ovo neverovatnih par dana.
00:58
It's downhill from now on. I wanted to thank Emeka and Chris.
I od sada ide nizbrdo. Želim da se zahvalim Emeki i Krisu.
01:00
But also, most importantly, all the invisible people behind TED
Ali takođe, najvažnije, svim nevidljivim ljudima ovde iza
01:03
that you just see flitting around the whole place
koje vidite samo kako jure po čitavom prostoru
01:07
that have made sort of this space for such a diverse and robust conversation.
i koji su napravili ovo mesto za ovaj toliko raznolik i snažan razgovor.
01:10
It's really amazing.
Stvarno je neverovatno.
01:16
I've been in the audience.
I bio sam u publici.
01:19
I'm a writer, and I've been watching people with the slide shows
Ja sam pisac, i gledam ljude sa prezentacijama
01:21
and scientists and bankers, and I've been feeling a bit
i naučnike i bankare i osećam se pomalo
01:25
like a gangsta rapper at a bar mitzvah.
kao reper gangster na bar micvi.
01:29
(Laughter)
(smeh)
01:32
Like, what have I got to say about all this?
Kao, šta ja imam da kažem o svemu ovome?
01:34
And I was watching Jane [Goodall] yesterday,
I gledao sam Džejn [Gudal] juče,
01:38
and I thought it was really great, and I was watching
i mislio da je bilo stvarno sjajno i gledao sam
01:40
those incredible slides of the chimpanzees, and I thought,
te neverovatne slajdove sa šimpanzama i pomislio,
01:42
"Wow. What if a chimpanzee could talk, you know? What would it say?"
"Vau. Šta da šimpanze mogu da govore, znate? Šta bi rekle?"
01:46
My first thought was, "Well, you know, there's George Bush."
Moja prva pomisao je bila, "Pa, znaš, tu je Džordž Buš."
01:51
But then I thought, "Why be rude to chimpanzees?"
Ali sam onda pomislio, "Zašto biti nepristojan prema šimpanzama?"
01:53
I guess there goes my green card.
Ništa od mog zelenog kartona.
01:59
(Laughter)
(smeh)
02:01
There's been a lot of talk about narrative in Africa.
Bilo je mnogo govora o pisanju u Africi.
02:03
And what's become increasingly clear to me is that
I ono što meni postaje sve jasnije, jeste da
02:06
we're talking about news stories about Africa;
mi govorimo o vestima iz Afrike,
02:10
we're not really talking about African narratives.
zapravo ne pričamo o afričkim pričama.
02:13
And it's important to make a distinction, because if the news is anything to go by,
I važno je napraviti razliku, jer ako se povodimo vestima,
02:15
40 percent of Americans can't -- either can't afford health insurance
40 odsto Amerikanaca ne može - ili ne može da priušti zdravstveno osiguranje
02:19
or have the most inadequate health insurance,
ili ima potpuno neodgovarajuće,
02:25
and have a president who, despite the protest
i imaju predsednika koji, uprkos protestima
02:28
of millions of his citizens -- even his own Congress --
miliona ljudi - čak i svog Kongresa -
02:31
continues to prosecute a senseless war.
nastavlja sa besmislenim ratom.
02:34
So if news is anything to go by,
Dakle, ako se imalo povodimo vestima,
02:37
the U.S. is right there with Zimbabwe, right?
SAD su odmah pored Zimbabvea, je li?
02:39
Which it isn't really, is it?
Što uopšte nije istina, zar ne?
02:42
And talking about war, my girlfriend has this great t-shirt
I govoreći o ratu - moja devojka ima tu sjajnu majicu
02:46
that says, "Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity."
sa natpisom, "Bombardovanje za mir je kao jebanje za nevinost."
02:48
It's amazing, isn't it?
Sjajno, zar ne.
02:53
The truth is, everything we know about America,
Istina je, Amerikanci - sve što znamo o Americi,
02:56
everything Americans come to know about being American,
sve što Amerikanci znaju o tome šta je biti Amerikanac,
03:05
isn't from the news.
ne dolazi iz vesti.
03:07
I live there.
To je - živeo sam tamo.
03:09
We don't go home at the end of the day and think,
Na kraju dana ne odlazimo kući misleći,
03:11
"Well, I really know who I am now
"Pa, ja sad zaista znam ko sam
03:13
because the Wall Street Journal says that the Stock Exchange
jer Vol Strit Žurnal kaže da je Berza
03:14
closed at this many points."
zatvorena."
03:18
What we know about how to be who we are comes from stories.
Ono što znamo o tome kako biti ono što jesmo, dolazi iz priča.
03:20
It comes from the novels, the movies, the fashion magazines.
Dolazi iz romana, filmova, modnih magazina.
03:23
It comes from popular culture.
Dolazi iz popularne kulture.
03:26
In other words, it's the agents of our imagination
Drugim rečima, akteri naše mašte
03:28
who really shape who we are. And this is important to remember,
zapravo oblikuju to ko smo mi. I važno je ovo zapamtiti,
03:30
because in Africa
jer, znate, u Africi,
03:34
the complicated questions we want to ask about
složena pitanja koja želimo da postavimo
03:37
what all of this means has been asked
u vezi sa tim šta sve ovo znači, postavljena
03:41
from the rock paintings of the San people,
su još na oslikanim stenama San naroda,
03:43
through the Sundiata epics of Mali, to modern contemporary literature.
preko Sundijata epike Malija, pa u modernoj, savremenoj književnosti.
03:47
If you want to know about Africa, read our literature --
Ako želite da upoznate Afriku, čitajte našu književnost -
03:51
and not just "Things Fall Apart," because that would be like saying,
a ne samo "Stvari se raspadaju", jer bi to bilo isto kao reći,
03:54
"I've read 'Gone with the Wind' and so I know everything about America."
"Pročitao sam "Prohujalo sa vihorom", tako da znam sve o Americi."
03:58
That's very important.
To je veoma važno.
04:02
There's a poem by Jack Gilbert called "The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart."
Postoji pesma od Džeka Gilberta zvana, "Zaboravljeni dijalekt srca."
04:04
He says, "When the Sumerian tablets were first translated,
On kaže, "Kada su sumerske table prvi put prevedene,
04:08
they were thought to be business records.
mislilo se da su to poslovni podaci.
04:13
But what if they were poems and psalms?
A šta ako su pesme ili psalmi?
04:16
My love is like twelve Ethiopian goats
Moja ljubav je poput dvanaest etiopskih koza
04:18
standing still in the morning light.
koje stoje mirno na jutarnjem suncu.
04:22
Shiploads of thuja are what my body wants to say to your body.
Toliko toga moje telo želi da kaže tvome telu.
04:26
Giraffes are this desire in the dark."
Žirafe su ova želja u mraku."
04:31
This is important.
Ovo je važno.
04:35
It's important because misreading is really the chance
Ovo je važno jer pogrešno razumevanje je zapravo mogućnost
04:36
for complication and opportunity.
za komplikovanje i priliku.
04:39
The first Igbo Bible was translated from English
Prvu Igbo biblija je preveo sa engleskog
04:41
in about the 1800s by Bishop Crowther,
otprilike 1800. vladika Krauter,
04:45
who was a Yoruba.
koji je bio Joruba.
04:47
And it's important to know Igbo is a tonal language,
I važno je znati da je Igbo tonski jezik,
04:48
and so they'll say the word "igwe" and "igwe":
tako da će oni reči "igve" i "igve":
04:51
same spelling, one means "sky" or "heaven,"
isto se piše, jedno znači "nebo" ili "raj",
04:55
and one means "bicycle" or "iron."
a drugo "bicikl" ili "gvožđe".
04:59
So "God is in heaven surrounded by His angels"
Tako je, "Bog je na nebu okružen svojim anđelima"
05:02
was translated as --
prevedeno -
05:06
[Igbo].
[Igbo prevod]
05:08
And for some reason, in Cameroon, when they tried
I iz nekog razloga, u Kamerunu, kada su probali
05:12
to translate the Bible into Cameroonian patois,
da prevedu bibilju na kamerunski žargon,
05:14
they chose the Igbo version.
izabrali su Igbo verziju.
05:16
And I'm not going to give you the patois translation;
I neću vam dati kamerunski prevod,
05:18
I'm going to make it standard English.
već ću reći samo na engleskom.
05:20
Basically, it ends up as "God is on a bicycle with his angels."
U suštini, završava ovako, "Bog je na biciklu sa svojim anđelima."
05:21
This is good, because language complicates things.
Ovo je dobro, jer jezik komplikuje stvari.
05:28
You know, we often think that language mirrors
Znate, mi često mislimo da jezik reflektuje
05:33
the world in which we live, and I find that's not true.
svet u kojem živimo, a ja nalazim da to nije istina.
05:35
The language actually makes the world in which we live.
Jezik zapravo čini svet u kojem živimo.
05:39
Language is not -- I mean, things don't have
Jezik nije - mislim, stvari nemaju
05:44
any mutable value by themselves; we ascribe them a value.
same po sebi promenljivu vrednost, mi je pripisujemo.
05:46
And language can't be understood in its abstraction.
I jezik se ne može shvatiti u svojoj apstrakciji.
05:49
It can only be understood in the context of story,
Može jedino da se razume u okviru priče,
05:52
and everything, all of this is story.
i sve - sve ovo - je priča.
05:54
And it's important to remember that,
I važno je to zapamtiti,
05:58
because if we don't, then we become ahistorical.
jer ako to ne učinimo, onda nismo zapamćeni.
06:00
We've had a lot of -- a parade of amazing ideas here.
Imali smo dosta - paradu ideja ovde.
06:04
But these are not new to Africa.
Ali to za Afriku nije novina.
06:07
Nigeria got its independence in 1960.
Nigerija je svoju nezavisnot dobila 1960.
06:09
The first time the possibility for independence was discussed
Prva mogućnost za nezavisnost je razmatrana
06:12
was in 1922, following the Aba women's market riots.
1922., nakon Aba ženskih nemira na tržištu.
06:16
In 1967, in the middle of the Biafran-Nigerian Civil War,
1967., usred građanskog rata između Bijafre i Nigerije,
06:20
Dr. Njoku-Obi invented the Cholera vaccine.
Dr. Njoku - Obi je otkrio vakcinu protiv kolere.
06:24
So, you know, the thing is to remember that
Dakle, znate, suština je da to treba zapamtiti,
06:28
because otherwise, 10 years from now,
jer u suprotnom, za 10 godina,
06:30
we'll be back here trying to tell this story again.
vratićemo se ovde, iznova pokušavajući da ispričamo ovu priču.
06:32
So, what it says to me then is that it's not really --
Dakle... to meni govori da, onda nije -
06:36
the problem isn't really the stories that are being told
problem nisu priče koje se prenose,
06:41
or which stories are being told,
ili koje priče se prenose,
06:43
the problem really is the terms of humanity
problem je zapravo u rečima humanosti
06:45
that we're willing to bring to complicate every story,
koje smo voljni da uključimo da zakomplikuemo svaku priču,
06:48
and that's really what it's all about.
i zapravo se o tome radi.
06:51
Let me tell you a Nigerian joke.
Ispričaću vam nigerijski vic.
06:54
Well, it's just a joke, anyway.
Pa, zapravo je samo vic.
06:56
So there's Tom, Dick and Harry and they're working construction.
Dakle tu su Tom, Dik i Heri koji rade na gradilištu.
06:58
And Tom opens up his lunch box and there's rice in it,
I Tom otvori svoju kutiju za ručak, a tamo je pirinač,
07:02
and he goes on this rant about, "Twenty years,
i on pobesni, "Dvadeset godina,
07:05
my wife has been packing rice for lunch.
mi žena pakuje pirinač za ručak.
07:07
If she does it again tomorrow, I'm going to throw myself
Ako to uradi i sutra, baciću se
07:09
off this building and kill myself."
sa ove zgrade i ubiću se."
07:11
And Dick and Harry repeat this.
I Dik i Hari su to ponovili.
07:13
The next day, Tom opens his lunchbox, there's rice,
Sledećeg dana, Tom otvara svoju kutiju, tamo je pirinač,
07:15
so he throws himself off and kills himself,
pa se on baci i umre,
07:17
and Tom, Dick and Harry follow.
a Dik i Heri su ga pratili.
07:19
And now the inquest -- you know, Tom's wife
I sada istraga - znate, Tomova i
07:21
and Dick's wife are distraught.
Dikova žena su rastrojene.
07:23
They wished they'd not packed rice.
Žele da nisu spakovale pirinač.
07:24
But Harry's wife is confused, because she said, "You know,
Ali Herijeva žena je zbunjena jer kaže, "Znate,
07:26
Harry had been packing his own lunch for 20 years."
Heri je 20 godina sam sebi pakovao ručak."
07:29
(Laughter)
(smeh)
07:32
This seemingly innocent joke, when I heard it as a child in Nigeria,
Naizgled nevina šala, kada sam je čuo u Nigeriji kao dete,
07:36
was told about Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa,
bila je o Igbu, Jorubi i Hausi,
07:41
with the Hausa being Harry.
gde je Hausa Heri.
07:43
So what seems like an eccentric if tragic joke about Harry
Dakle, ono što se čini kao ekscentrično tragičan vic o Heriju
07:45
becomes a way to spread ethnic hatred.
postaje način da se širi etnička mržnja.
07:49
My father was educated in Cork, in the University of Cork, in the '50s.
Moj otac se obrazovao u Korku, na Univerzitet u Korku, tokom '50-ih.
07:53
In fact, every time I read in Ireland,
Ustvari, svaki put kada sam čitao u Irskoj,
07:57
people get me all mistaken and they say,
ljudi bi me pomešali i rekli,
07:59
"Oh, this is Chris O'Barney from Cork."
"O, ovo je Kris O'Barni sa Korka."
08:01
But he was also in Oxford in the '50s,
Ali on je bio i na Oksfordu tokom '50-ih,
08:03
and yet growing up as a child in Nigeria,
i imao je - odrastajući u Nigeriji,
08:07
my father used to say to me, "You must never eat or drink
moj otac je imao običaj da kaže, "Nemoj nikada da piješ ili jedeš
08:09
in a Yoruba person's house because they will poison you."
u kući Joruba osobe, jer će te otrovati."
08:12
It makes sense now when I think about it,
Sada kada razmišljam o tome, ima smisla,
08:17
because if you'd known my father,
jer da ste znali mog oca,
08:19
you would've wanted to poison him too.
i vi biste hteli da ga otrujete.
08:20
(Laughter)
(smeh)
08:23
So I was born in 1966, at the beginning
Dakle, ja sam rođen 1966., na početku
08:28
of the Biafran-Nigerian Civil War, and the war ended after three years.
građanskog rata, a rat se završio tri godine kasnije.
08:32
And I was growing up in school and the federal government
Dok sam odrastao, federalna vlada nije htela
08:38
didn't want us taught about the history of the war,
da nas u školi uče o istoriji rata,
08:41
because they thought it probably would make us
jer su mislili da će to verovatno
08:44
generate a new generation of rebels.
stvoriti novu generaciju pobunjenika.
08:47
So I had a very inventive teacher, a Pakistani Muslim,
I imao sam vrlo maštovitog profesora, pakistanskog muslimana,
08:49
who wanted to teach us about this.
koji je hteo da nas o tome uči.
08:52
So what he did was to teach us Jewish Holocaust history,
I ono što je učinio, učio nas je o holokaustu Jevreja,
08:54
and so huddled around books with photographs of people in Auschwitz,
i nagnut nad gomilom knjiga sa fotografijama ljudi iz Aušvica,
08:58
I learned the melancholic history of my people
shvatio sam melanholičnu istoriju mog naroda
09:03
through the melancholic history of another people.
kroz melanholičnu istoriju drugog.
09:06
I mean, picture this -- really picture this.
Mislim, zamislite ovo - zaista zamislite.
09:08
A Pakistani Muslim teaching Jewish Holocaust history
Pakistanski musliman predaje istoriju jevrejskog holokausta
09:10
to young Igbo children.
mladoj Igbo deci.
09:15
Story is powerful.
Priča je moćna.
09:16
Story is fluid and it belongs to nobody.
Priča je tečna i nikome ne pripada.
09:18
And it should come as no surprise
I ne bi trebalo da iznenadi
09:20
that my first novel at 16 was about Neo-Nazis
to da je moj prvi roman sa 16 godina bio o neo - nacistima
09:22
taking over Nigeria to institute the Fourth Reich.
koji preuzimaju Nigeriju da stvore Četvrti Rajh.
09:25
It makes perfect sense.
U potpunosti ima smisla.
09:28
And they were to blow up strategic targets
I planirali su da raznesu strateške mete
09:29
and take over the country, and they were foiled
i okupiraju zemlju, a sprečio ih je
09:33
by a Nigerian James Bond called Coyote Williams,
nigerijski Džejms Bond, zvani Kojot Vilijams,
09:35
and a Jewish Nazi hunter.
i Jevrejin - jevrejski lovac na Naciste.
09:39
And it happened over four continents.
I dešavalo se na četiri kontinenta.
09:42
And when the book came out, I was heralded as Africa's answer
I kada je knjiga objavljena, pričalo se o meni kao afričkom odgovoru
09:43
to Frederick Forsyth, which is a dubious honor at best.
na Frederika Forsajta, što je sumnjiva čast, u najbolju ruku.
09:46
But also, the book was launched in time for me to be accused
Takođe, knjiga je objavljena na vreme da me optuže
09:50
of constructing the blueprint for a foiled coup attempt.
za izgradnju plana za osujećenje državnog udara.
09:53
So at 18, I was bonded off to prison in Nigeria.
Dakle sa 18, poslat sam u zatvor.
09:57
I grew up very privileged, and it's important
Moje odrastanje je imalo dosta privilegija i važno je
10:02
to talk about privilege, because we don't talk about it here.
govoriti o privilegijama, jer o tome se ovde ne govori.
10:03
A lot of us are very privileged.
Mnogi od nas imaju privilegije.
10:06
I grew up -- servants, cars, televisions, all that stuff.
Odrastao sam - sluge, automobili, televizija, sve te stvari.
10:08
My story of Nigeria growing up was very different from the story
Moja priča o odrastanju u Nigeriji je veoma različita od priče
10:12
I encountered in prison, and I had no language for it.
s kojom sam se susreo u zatvoru, a za to nemam reči.
10:15
I was completely terrified, completely broken,
Bio sam potpuno prestravljen, potpuno slomljen,
10:19
and kept trying to find a new language,
i pokušavao da nađem novi jezik,
10:23
a new way to make sense of all of this.
novi način da nađem smisao svemu ovome.
10:27
Six months after that, with no explanation,
Nakon šest meseci, bez objašnjenja
10:30
they let me go.
su me pustili.
10:33
Now for those of you who have seen me at the buffet tables know
E sad, oni od vas koji su me videli za stolom znaju
10:34
that it was because it was costing them too much to feed me.
da je to zbog toga što ih je previše koštalo da me hrane.
10:36
(Laughter)
(smeh)
10:39
But I mean, I grew up with this incredible privilege,
Ali, mislim, odrastao sam sa neverovatnim povlasticama,
10:48
and not just me -- millions of Nigerians
i ne samo ja - milioni nigerijaca
10:50
grew up with books and libraries.
odrasli su sa knjigama i bibliotekama.
10:52
In fact, we were talking last night about how all
Ustvari, sinoć smo razgovarali o tome kako su sve
10:54
of the steamy novels of Harold Robbins
"vruće" knjige Harolda Robinsa
10:58
had done more for sex education of horny teenage boys in Africa
uradile više na polju seksualnog obrazovanja napaljenih tinejdžera u Africi,
11:00
than any sex education programs ever had.
nego bilo koji edukatvni seksualni program.
11:04
All of those are gone.
Sve je to nestalo.
11:08
We are squandering the most valuable resource
Rasipamo najvredniji resurs
11:10
we have on this continent: the valuable resource
koji imamo na ovom kontinentu: resurs
11:12
of the imagination.
mašte.
11:14
In the film, "Sometimes in April" by Raoul Peck,
U filmu, "Jednom u aprilu" od Raula Peka,
11:16
Idris Elba is poised in a scene with his machete raised,
Idrsi Elba je u sceni sa podignutom mačetom
11:19
and he's being forced by a crowd to chop up his best friend --
i rulja ga prisiljava da iskasapi svog najboljeg prijatelja -
11:23
fellow Rwandan Army officer, albeit a Tutsi --
ruandskog vojnika, iako je Tutsi -
11:27
played by Fraser James.
kojeg glumi Frejzer Džejms.
11:30
And Fraser's on his knees, arms tied behind his back,
I Frejzer je na kolenima, ruku vezanih iza leđa,
11:32
and he's crying.
plače.
11:36
He's sniveling.
Slini.
11:38
It's a pitiful sight.
Jadan prizor.
11:39
And as we watch it, we are ashamed.
I dok to gledamo, stidimo se.
11:40
And we want to say to Idris, "Chop him up.
I želimo da kažemo Idrisu, "Iseci ga.
11:45
Shut him up."
Ućutkaj ga."
11:48
And as Idris moves, Fraser screams, "Stop!
I kako se Idris pomera, Frejzer viče, "Stani!
11:50
Please stop!"
Molim te stani!"
11:54
Idris pauses, then he moves again,
Idris zastane, ponovo se pomeri,
11:56
and Fraser says, "Please!
a Frejzer kaže, "Molim te!
11:59
Please stop!"
Molim te stani!"
12:02
And it's not the look of horror and terror on Fraser's face that stops Idris or us;
I nije izraz strave i terora na Frejzerovom licu ono što zaustavlja Idrisa ili nas;
12:04
it's the look in Fraser's eyes.
već Frejzerov pogled.
12:10
It's one that says, "Don't do this.
Onaj koji kaže, "Nemoj to da činiš.
12:12
And I'm not saying this to save myself,
I ne govorim ovo da spasim sebe,
12:16
although this would be nice. I'm doing it to save you,
iako bi to bilo lepo; radim ovo da spasim tebe,
12:18
because if you do this, you will be lost."
jer ako učiniš ovo, izgubićeš se."
12:22
To be so afraid that you're standing in the face
Toliko ste uplašeni da stojite pred licem
12:26
of a death you can't escape and that you're soiling yourself
smrti koju ne možete da izbegnete i prljavi ste
12:29
and crying, but to say in that moment,
i plačete, ali u tom trenutku kažete,
12:31
as Fraser says to Idris, "Tell my girlfriend I love her."
kao Frejzer Idrisu, "Kaži mojoj devojci da je volim."
12:33
In that moment, Fraser says,
U tom trenutku, Frejzer kaže,
12:37
"I am lost already, but not you ... not you."
"Već sam izgubljen, ali ti nisi.... ti nisi."
12:41
This is a redemption we can all aspire to.
Ovo je iskupljenje kojem svi možemo da težimo.
12:46
African narratives in the West, they proliferate.
Afrički pisci na Zapadu se šire.
12:49
I really don't care anymore.
Stvarno mi više nije bitno.
12:53
I'm more interested in the stories we tell about ourselves --
Više me zanimaju priče koje o sebi pričamo -
12:54
how as a writer, I find that African writers
kako kao pisac, nalazim da su afrički pisci
12:58
have always been the curators of our humanity on this continent.
oduvek bili čuvari ljudskosti na ovom kontinentu.
13:03
The question is, how do I balance narratives that are wonderful
Pitanje je, kako balansiram između priča koje su sjajne
13:06
with narratives of wounds and self-loathing?
i priča koje su o ranama i samomržnji?
13:12
And this is the difficulty that I face.
I to je teškoća sa kojom se susrećem.
13:16
I am trying to move beyond political rhetoric
Pokušavam da se udaljim od političke retorike
13:19
to a place of ethical questioning.
na mesto etničkog ispitivanja.
13:21
I am asking us to balance the idea
Tražim da balansiramo ideju
13:23
of our complete vulnerability with the complete notion
naše potpune ranjivosti sa čitavom idejom
13:26
of transformation of what is possible.
promene ili onoga što je moguće.
13:30
As a young middle-class Nigerian activist,
Kao mladi Nigerijac aktivista iz srednje klase,
13:32
I launched myself along with a whole generation of us
ubacio sam se zajedno sa čitavom generacijom
13:34
into the campaign to stop the government.
u kampanju za zaustavljanje vlade.
13:37
And I asked millions of people,
I pozvao sam milione ljudi,
13:40
without questioning my right to do so,
ne obazirući se da li imam prava na to,
13:42
to go up against the government.
da se udružimo protiv vlade.
13:44
And I watched them being locked up in prison and tear gassed.
I gledao sam kako ih zatvaraju, koriste suzavac.
13:46
I justified it, and I said, "This is the cost of revolution.
Opravdao sam to i rekao, "Ovo je cena revolucije.
13:48
Have I not myself been imprisoned?
Zar nisam i sam bio zatovren?
13:51
Have I not myself been beaten?"
Zar nisam i sam bio tučen?"
13:53
It wasn't until later, when I was imprisoned again,
Tek kada sam kasnije ponovo zatvoren,
13:55
that I understood the real meaning of torture,
svatio sam pravo značenje mučenja,
13:58
and how easy your humanity can be taken from you,
i kako lako vaša ljudskost može da vam se oduzme,
14:00
for the time I was engaged in war,
za to vreme koje sam učestvovao u ratu,
14:03
righteous, righteous war.
čestitom ratu.
14:06
Excuse me.
Oprostite.
14:09
Sometimes I can stand before the world --
Ponekad mogu stajati pred svetom -
14:12
and when I say this, transformation
i kada to kažem, promena
14:14
is a difficult and slow process --
je težak i spor proces.
14:16
sometimes I can stand before the world and say,
Ponekad mogu da stojim pred svetom i kažem,
14:18
"My name is Chris Abani.
"Moje ime je Kris Abani.
14:21
I have been human six days, but only sometimes."
Čovek sam šest dana, ali samo povremeno."
14:23
But this is a good thing.
Ali to je dobra stvar.
14:26
It's never going to be easy.
Nikada neće biti lako.
14:28
There are no answers.
Ne postoje odgovori.
14:30
As I was telling Rachel from Google Earth,
Kako sam rekao Rejčel iz "Google Earth",
14:32
that I had challenged my students in America --
izazvao sam svoje studente iz Amerike -
14:34
I said, "You don't know anything about Africa, you're all idiots."
rekao sam, "Ne znate ništa o Africi, svi ste idioti."
14:36
And so they said, "Tell me about Africa, Professor Abani."
Na šta su oni rekli, "Pričajte nam o Africi, profesore Abani."
14:39
So I went to Google Earth and learned about Africa.
I tako sam otišao na "Google Earth" i učio o Africi.
14:42
And the truth be told, this is it, isn't it?
I istinu govoreći, to je to, zar ne?
14:45
There are no essential Africans,
Ne postoje istinski afrikanci,
14:48
and most of us are as completely ignorant as everyone else
i većina nas mnogo toga ne zna, kao ni drugi ljudi
14:49
about the continent we come from,
o kontinentu sa kog dolazi,
14:51
and yet we want to make profound statements about it.
a opet hoćemo da dajemo duboke izjave o njemu.
14:53
And I think if we can just admit that we're all trying
I kad bismo mogli jednostavno da priznamo da pokušavamo
14:56
to approximate the truth of our own communities,
da shvatimo istinu o našim zajednicama,
14:58
it will make for a much more nuanced
to bi bio mnogo zanimljiviji razgovor
15:01
and a much more interesting conversation.
sa mnogo više nijansi.
15:03
I want to believe that we can be agnostic about this,
Želim da verujem da možemo biti agnostici po tom pitanju,
15:06
that we can rise above all of this.
da možemo da se izdignemo iznad svega ovog.
15:10
When I was 10, I read James Baldwin's "Another Country,"
Kada sam imao 10 godina, pročitao sam "Drugu zemlju", Džejmsa Boldvina,
15:12
and that book broke me.
i ta knjiga me je slomila.
15:16
Not because I was encountering homosexual sex and love
Ne zato što sam se sreo sa homoseksualnom ljubavlju i seksom
15:18
for the first time, but because the way James wrote about it
po prvi put, već zato što je način na koji je Džejms o tome pisao
15:21
made it impossible for me to attach otherness to it.
učinio nemogućim da tome priključim drugost.
15:24
"Here," Jimmy said.
"Evo", reče Džimi.
15:27
"Here is love, all of it."
"Evo je ljubav, sva."
15:29
The fact that it happens in "Another Country"
Činjenica da se to događa u "Drugoj zemlji"
15:31
takes you quite by surprise.
potpuno vas iznenadi.
15:33
My friend Ronald Gottesman says there are three kinds of people in the world:
Moj prijatelj Ronald Gotesman kaže da postoje tri vrste ljudi na svetu:
15:36
those who can count, and those who can't.
oni koji znaju da broje i oni koji ne znaju.
15:38
(Laughter)
(smeh)
15:41
He also says that the cause of all our trouble
On isto kaže da uzrok svim nevoljama
15:45
is the belief in an essential, pure identity:
jeste verovanje u osnovni, čist identitet:
15:48
religious, ethnic, historical, ideological.
religijski, etnički, istorijski, ideološki.
15:51
I want to leave you with a poem by Yusef Komunyakaa
Želim da završim sa pesmom Jusufa Komunjakaa
15:56
that speaks to transformation.
koja govori o promeni.
15:59
It's called "Ode to the Drum," and I'll try and read it
Zove se "Oda bubnju" i pokušaću da je pročitam
16:02
the way Yusef would be proud to hear it read.
na način kojim bi se Jusuf ponosio.
16:05
"Gazelle, I killed you for your skin's exquisite touch,
"Gazelo, ubio sam te zbog izuzetnog dodira tvoje kože,
16:11
for how easy it is to be nailed to a board
jer tako je lako zakucan biti na tablu
16:17
weathered raw as white butcher paper.
istrošenu poput belog mesarskog papira.
16:20
Last night I heard my daughter praying for the meat here at my feet.
Sinoć sam čuo svoju ćerku kako moli za meso pod mojim nogama.
16:24
You know it wasn't anger that made me stop my heart till the hammer fell.
Znaš da nije ljutnja zaustavila moje srce do pada čekića.
16:29
Weeks ago, you broke me as a woman
Nedeljama ranije, slomila si me poput žene
16:33
once shattered me into a song beneath her weight,
jednom razbijene u pesmu ispod njenog tela,
16:36
before you slouched into that grassy hush.
pre nego što si se povila u travnati tajac.
16:40
And now I'm tightening lashes, shaped in hide as if around a ribcage,
I sada zatežem konope, oblikujući skrovište poput grudnog koša,
16:43
shaped like five bowstrings.
oblika pet kanapa.
16:48
Ghosts cannot slip back inside the body's drum.
Duhovi ne mogu zaći unutar telesnog bubnja.
16:50
You've been seasoned by wind, dusk and sunlight.
Začinjena si vetrom, sumrakom i sunčevom svetlošću.
16:53
Pressure can make everything whole again.
Pritisak može sve ponovo spojiti,
16:57
Brass nails tacked into the ebony wood,
mesingani ekseri zakucani u drvo abonosa
17:01
your face has been carved five times.
isklesali su tvoje lice pet puta.
17:03
I have to drive trouble in the hills.
Moram da vozim nemirno u brda.
17:06
Trouble in the valley,
Nemirno kroz dolinu.
17:08
and trouble by the river too.
I nemirno pored reke.
17:10
There is no palm wine, fish, salt, or calabash.
Nema palminog vina, ribe, soli ili tikvice.
17:12
Kadoom. Kadoom. Kadoom.
Kadum. Kadum. Kadum.
17:16
Ka-doooom.
Ka - duuum.
17:20
Now I have beaten a song back into you.
Sad sam stukao pesmu ponovo u tebe,
17:22
Rise and walk away like a panther."
ustani i odšetaj kao panter."
17:26
Thank you.
Hvala vam.
17:30
(Applause)
(aplauz)
17:32
Translated by Sandra Gojic
Reviewed by Ivana Korom

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About the Speaker:

Chris Abani - Novelist, poet
Imprisoned three times by the Nigerian government, Chris Abani turned his experience into poems that Harold Pinter called "the most naked, harrowing expression of prison life and political torture imaginable." His novels include GraceLand (2004) and The Virgin of Flames (2007).

Why you should listen

Chris Abani's first novel, published when he was 16, was Masters of the Board, a political thriller about a foiled Nigerian coup. The story was convincing enough that the Nigerian government threw him in jail for inciting a coincidentally timed real-life coup. Imprisoned and tortured twice more, he channeled the experience into searing poetry.

Abani's best-selling 2004 novel GraceLand is a searing and funny tale of a young Nigerian boy, an Elvis impersonator who moves through the wide, wild world of Lagos, slipping between pop and traditional cultures, art and crime. It's a perennial book-club pick, a story that brings the postcolonial African experience to vivid life.

Now based in Los Angeles, Abani published The Virgin of Flames in 2007. He is also a publisher, running the poetry imprint Black Goat Press.

More profile about the speaker
Chris Abani | Speaker | TED.com