Children’s Voices from War Zones: Muted by Adult Mediation
Abstract

Abstract:

This article explores child-authored autobiographical writing of war trauma compromisingly mediated by adult agents (such as editors, illustrators, and translators), who add their own voices and perspectives in the process of commercial publication. The analysis focuses on Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo (1995), written by Zlata Filipović—a diary of an eleven-year-old child that has been translated, edited, illustrated, and published by adults. There are two important aspects that will be highlighted here regarding the published translation: 1) the translated text is framed by an introduction, footnotes, and captions adding adults’ voices to the child voice of the author; and 2) the translated text is accompanied by illustrations, made, selected, and captioned by adults. These adult interventions have corrupted the child narrator’s voice and perspective of war and the child’s attempt to present her own identity.