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Translate a diary of an African man who served kings and queens as a member of the Swedish Royal Court during the late 18th century.
Translate a diary of an African man who served kings and queens as a member of the Swedish Royal Court during the late 18th century.
Translate a diary of an African man who served kings and queens as a member of the Swedish Royal Court during the late 18th century.
29 backers pledged $2,013 to help bring this project to life.

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Translate the Diary of Badin from Swedish Into English

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Famous Portrait of Badin
Famous Portrait of Badin

För svensk översättning på texten, se att slut video, tack.

The diary of Badin (also known as Couschi) is a crucial primary source document regarding the presence of the African contribution to northern Europe—specifically the country of Sweden.

According to the Lundian article African Diasporans in Sweden, Swedish scholar and human rights lawyer, Madubuko Arthur Diakité, wrote that Badin is "Sweden's most famous African Diasporan of them all." As a boy, he was a victim of the transatlantic slave trade, stolen by a Danish trader from his home and delivered as a gift to Queen Ulrika Lovisa of Sweden.

The Queen defied racism and classism and chose to raise him as an equal with her other children, with unhindered access the best education and culture provided for children of the Royal Family. Her radical experiment allowed Badin to grow into a dedicated and brilliant Court Official, ambassador to France and manager of two palaces. He continued to serve the Royal Court after Queen Lovisa passed away. Badin also a member of a number of secret societies, such as the Freemasons. When he passed away in 1809, Badin owned two farms and a massive library of 900 books.

By translating his diary into English, I hope to open a bigger audience for Badin. This will be a public domain translation. I have been recruiting translators with experience in old Swedish and handwriting. So you will not have an inferior product. However, these translators are people like you and I. So they have mouths to feed and bills to pay. If you could give anything you can afford to make this happen, I can pay for the translators, layout the text and upload the diary for all people who speak English. If we go over the goal, the extra money will go towards laying out and producing a hard copy book.

For those who can afford the big money, I have great rewards—produced and donated by me—for your effort. See the Rewards section of this Kickstarter Campaign for all the details.

You might wonder why I care so much about this man's book. In the year 2013, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime to visit Sweden and meet long-lost cousins through my participation in a Swedish television show called Allt För Sverige. As a man of half Swedish and half African ancestry, I experienced and understood the pain of being a non-white person in Sweden. Being told "you don't belong here" or "you're not Swedish" and hearing heart-breaking stories from Swedes I met: A successful Swedish professional born of Arab immigrants lamented that no matter how fluent he was and how "Swedish" he lived, he felt he would never be accepted as a Swede. A mother upset with children taunting her adopted Asian children as "niggers." It goes on an on. So when I returned to the United States, I vowed to find something to turn my—and other non-white Swedes'—pain into something positive.

When a friend of mine told me about Badin with a link to a Wikipedia article, I was curious. Unfortunately—with the exception of the great work of Madubuko Arthur Diakité—there is virtually nothing about Badin in English that is not littered with racist stereotypes and points of view. When I obtained a copy of Badin's diary from the University of Uppsala, I knew I had a gem. However, translating it into English was paramount.

Will you help me share Badin's thoughts and experiences with the English speaking world? Will you help me give scholars, students of history and ordinary folk a crucial primary source of a Black Swedish Royal Ambassador? Please give today. Time is limited. Thank you.

Click to view a complete 78 page PDF version of Badin's Swedish diary. It is available for viewing online for the duration of this campaign

Risks and challenges

If this project is funded and proceeds as planned, we must be diligent about having enough qualified translators to pick up the slack if one is unable to complete their part. I plan to distribute files in an organized manner and be accountable for the translations. Outside of my death, one of the translators, or a major natural disaster to disable electricity, there is not much that could prevent us from completing this project.

As a backer of this project, you should know that the PDF will be a respectable presentation, with both the original text scans and translations side by side. There is a small chance that the translation will not include the originals, pending approval from the University of Uppsala.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Receive a link for a downloadable PDF with high resolution images of all original diary pages along with the English translation.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    In addition to Reward #1, you will receive a copy of Photo Retouching and Restoration Foundations. It is a video and workbook course to teach you how to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements to color correct, retouch and restore your photographs. This course was produced by Eric Basir. Read all about it at http://bit.ly/LHSsaB

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    In addition to Reward #1 and #2, you will receive copies of Knös the Giant and The Swedish Girl of Motala. These are children's picture books written and illustrated By Eric Basir. They are about Swedish youth with dark skin who become heroes in their communities. Learn more about these books at http://bit.ly/161phxK and http://bit.ly/1bU7Bov

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Funding period

- (33 days)