Despite having edited numerous books and journal issues over the past 20 years, I found this volume exceptionally challenging. The ups and downs, the uncertainty, and the upheaval that characterized the political landscape in which it was conceived permeated every aspect of the project: from persuading activists with more pressing concerns to invest in reflecting and writing about a relevant aspect of their experience, to constantly adapting the plan of the volume and having to identify new authors as a number of initial contributors – some either too traumatized by the events of the past two years or too busy attending to colleagues in prison, or both – were unable to find the mental space necessary to write. Nevertheless, working with the contributors who finally submitted essays for the volume has been a privilege and a humbling experience. It taught me more about humility, integrity and solidarity than anything I have read or written in my long career as an academic. I am grateful to Ahdaf Souief for advice on publishing outlets and for her moral support during the course of planning this project. Yasmin El Rifae provided considerable support during the initial stages, in particular helping me identify a number of contributors and commenting on the initial plan of the volume. Loredana Polezzi’s feedback on the publishing proposal gave me confidence in the value of the collection and, in particular, of broadening the concept of translation to link different modalities of expression and avoid treating contiguous aspects of the complex experience of revolution as discrete categories. I was able to devote my time over the past two years to examining the use of translation in the context of the Egyptian revolution, and editing this volume, thanks to an 18-month full-time Fellowship funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK, under the title Translating the Egyptian Revolution: Activist Use of Translation to Connect with Global Publics and Protest Movements. The project has also benefited from additional support provided by the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester. I am grateful to Louisa Semlyen at Routledge for her continued support of my research, even when it does not quite fit into the established academic model, and to Laura Sandford for assisting with various aspects of production. I am also grateful to Natalie Foster at Routledge and to my co-editors of Critical Perspectives on Citizen Media, Luis Pérez-González and Bolette Blaagaard, for endorsing the proposal to include Translating Dissent as the first title in the series. I would like to thank Mark Nickolas, Founder and Principal of Mosaic Films, for permission to reproduce the photograph of Bahia Shehab, taken during the filming of Nefertiti’s Daughters (www.mosaicfilmsnyc.com), and Ted R. Swedenburg (www.swedenburg.blogspot.com) for permission to use the photograph that appears on the book cover. I am grateful also to Henry Jones for compiling the index and for his assistance with uploading material to the Translating Dissent section of my personal website (www.monabaker.org).
Mona Baker1 May 2015