Anyone who today do not speak English will often feel left out. We live in a world where this language has become dominant in a broad cultural sense. Within education too, English is in many places an obvious choice second language. Speaking English – at least in this part of the world – seems to be the prerequisite for economic participation.
Language can also play an important role politically, as a lever for resistance to oppression or as an instrument to change a culture. Colonisation and migration, territorial conflicts and identity issues have a major impact on the language that communities (are allowed to) speak and develop.
The Wonders of Multilingualism series explores a different aspect of our multilingual society each time. Short artistic and literary interventions fuel conversations among spectators, which we deliberately make space for.
For this fourth session of 'The wonders of multilingualism', we cover language and power by looking through the lens of (de)colonisation. How does it manifest itself in language? How do writers free themselves from the colonial impact on language as part of their cultural and everyday life? How do you talk about colonisation in Arabic? Three guests – all of them with links to the MENA region – will cover these questions in three different languages (Dutch, French and English): theatre-maker Salim Djaferi, writer Rachida Lamrabet and researcher Ilham Essalih.
As always, not everything will be translated, but we will look for a balance and hope that attendees can help each other.
Taal en Macht - The Wonders of Multilingualism #4
Location: Rue Notre-Dame du Sommeil, 81, 1000 Brussels