Apply for Potential Wor(l)ds workshop with Anna Bunting-Branch and Aliyah Hussain

Published on Jan 10, 2020

Potential Wor(l)ds is a collaborative project between artists Anna Bunting-Branch and Aliyah Hussain, drawing on shared interests in feminist science fiction, embodied processes of making, and different ways of worldbuilding. 

The workshop will begin with an introduction to Láadan, a feminist language created by linguist and science fiction writer Suzette Haden Elgin in 1984. Finding herself unable to express certain ideas and emotions in English, Elgin intended Láadan to make space for new words and ways of communicating. For Elgin, the idea of gaps in language offers a place to start creating change. She called these gaps potential words’. Her experiment tested the hypothesis that there are changes you could not introduce into a language without destroying it and languages you could not introduce into a culture without destroying it,’ and that change in language brings about social change, rather than the contrary.’

The idea of these potential wor(l)ds forms the basis of this workshop, where participants will experiment with contact mics, found objects, drawing and our own bodies to create a collective vocabulary. The workshop will move away from dominant ways of communicating to explore more experimental, collaborative modes of expression. Using gesture, mark-making and sound in order to try to feel what is being communicated as well as what cannot yet be said.

Material from this workshop will be added to the Potential Wor(l)ds dictionary, an online archive documenting previous workshops in Bergen, Brighton and Liverpool. 

Questions, suggestions and provocations are welcome. As the philosopher Luce Irigaray (herself an inspiration for the Láadan experiment) tells us: If we keep on speaking the same language together, we’re going to reproduce the same history. Begin the same stories again. Don’t you think so?’

Enrolment
To express your interest in joining the workshop, taking place on 19 February in Amsterdam, please send a short motivation to workshop[at]sonicacts[dot]com. Applications will close on 1 February.

Fee
Participants pay a contribution of €20 for the workshop led by Anna Bunting-Branch and Aliyah Hussain. Lunch is included. 

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Photo by Thor Brødreskift
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Photo by Thor Brødreskift