Brazilian artist Carol Rossetti is popularly known as the creator of a fantastic, hand-drawn illustration series titled ‘Women‘,  depicting powerful, empowering and inclusive messages of identity and choice. She started the series in April 2014 and within a year, she drew 130 illustrations. Her initial goal was just to practice her technique with coloured pencils, but she opted for intersectionality as her theme. The world’s constant attempts to control women’s bodies, behaviours and identities bothered her. Rossetti believes, it is vital to discuss racism, homophobia, transphobia, classicism, xenophobia and abelism and says, this project is not just for girls, but for anyone and everyone who identifies with it. Though started as a personal project, the images took off from her Facebook page and now have an international audience of more than 221k people (May 2015).

In her latest blog post on Tumblr, Rossetti says the project is coming to an end, the official series is complete, but exclusive postcards and prints will be available on her store. A book on the project will come out in October and new projects are already in the pipeline.

“I hope I made some difference in some peoples’ lives and inspired other artists and graphic professionals to be inclusive and diverse when representing people in their own projects.” – Carol Rossetti

Bengali2
Carol Rossetti’s Women series translated into Bengali by Tahrima Mridha. English translation: Silvia has white hair people have been telling her to dye it, so she doesn’t look old. Silvia dying your hair is your choice, and never an obligation. If you like your white hair nobody has anything to do with it. Age is not a reason for shame. Your hair is beautiful and the choice is yours!

Rossetti’s Women series has been translated into various languages including EnglishItalian, Russian, Hebrew, German, Lithuanian, Czech, French, Slovenian, Arabic, Dutch and Spanish. Recently, Rossetti was contacted by a few Indian translators who wanted to translate Women into their regional languages. With great support from Rossetti and the translators’ initiative and hard work, the series is now available in Bengali, Marathi and Hindi translated by Tahrima Mridha; Mukta Mandar & Devika Phansalkar and Mukta Mandar & Vasudha Katju respectively.

Carol Rossetti in Hindi 1
Carol Rossetti’s Women series translated into Hindi by Mukta Mandar & Vasudha Katju. English translation: Amanda has decided that shaving is not her thing. Amanda, it’s your body and you do whatever you want with it. No social convention should have a say in your identity!

I was in conversation with Mukta Mandar (her pen name) who has been part of both Marathi and Hindi translations. Mandar first came across Rossetti’s illustrations on her Facebook timeline like many of us and took an instant liking to them. A friend and a student (Phansalkar) from her alma mater suggested that they translate the illustrations into Marathi. Mandar thoroughly appreciate arts, she liked Rossetti’s unique style – the design and content and to translate them obviously meant helping the project reach more and more people. They contacted Rossetti via Facebook who in turn was very excited and supportive of the translation project.

Mandar has been working as a freelance translator for over a year now and can work on a few graphic designing softwares as well. This made replacing the English text with the translated text tremendously easy. She further collaborated with Katju on giving the final touches to the Hindi text and redesigning the posters and began to translate and redesign in Marathi herself.

Carol Rossetti's Women series in Marathi by Mukta Mandar & Devika Phansalkar. English translation: Ursula never liked wearing makeup. That's not a problem, Ursula! You are the boss of your face!
Carol Rossetti’s Women series translated into Marathi by Mukta Mandar & Devika Phansalkar. English translation: Ursula never liked wearing makeup. That’s not a problem, Ursula! You are the boss of your face!

However, there were a few things that she had to bear in mind as a translator. This project is meant for everyone, so everyone who can read and understand modern Hindi and Marathi should be able to understand and enjoy the translated versions. Most of the online viewers are bi-lingual. Hence, they must find the translations just, unnecessary re-molding and magniloquence were avoided. A reader suggested her to use Indian names so that Indians could relate better. However, Mandar refused, citing the reason that it will violate Rossetti’s artistic and intellectual sovereignty. She also firmly believed that the reader should be encouraged to realize the universalism of the experiences, ordeals and triumphs of women. That’s the prime advantage of using names and identities from different continents and different parts of the world.

She says, they would be translating more in the coming days. She wants people to share them, relate with them and learn from them.

All images have been used from Carol Rossetti’s Facebook page. Her illustrations can be bought from her store here

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply