Political prisoner wins mentorship program in Southeast Asia


MANILA – Political prisoner Amanda Echanis won the first Southeast Asian Translation Mentorship 2023-2024, the Seams announced on their official social media platform on Friday, Nov. 17.

As a mentee, the Seams said Echanis will be working on the translation of Filipino poetry into English. Her primary mentor is poet Kristine Ong Muslim and the rest of the Seams team.

The mentorship program aims to hone the mentee’s literary translation skills, equip them with useful knowledge about the ins and outs of the literary translation industry, expand their work in the Southeast Asian literary translation and publishing sector, and support proposed translation projects through publication.

The Southeast Asian Translation Mentorship is organized by the Seams in partnership with Ethos Books.

The Seams is a group of translators who translate Southeast Asian literature into English.

Echanis is the daughter of peasant advocate Linda Lacaba and slain peace consultant Randall Echanis.

She was arrested in December 2020 in Cagayan and was charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and explosives. His son, Randall Emmanuel, who was only a month old when she was arrested, is staying with her at the Cagayan Provincial Jail.

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Echanis has published a book entitled, Tatlong Paslit na Alaala, a collection of memoirs of children confronting various struggles and different political contexts. In 2015, she wrote Nanay Mameng, isang dula, a play on the life of the urban poor leader Carmen Deunida. Recently, Echanis published another book entitled Binhi ng Paglaya.

The mentorship also has two finalists, Shirinder Kaur who will be translating from Malay and NH Legaspi also translating from Filipino. At least 46 applied for the program, all coming from or based in countries from Southeast Asia. (RTS) (https://www.bulatlat.org)

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