The Wonders of Multilingualism #4 by Passa Porta & Kaaitheater

Language and Power

Language and Power
Language and Power

09.05.2023

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.   

In this fourth instalment of 'The wonders of multilingualism', we talk about language and power. Each time, this series explores a different aspect of our multilingual society. Short artistic interventions feed the conversations, both in group and among themselves.   

It is tempting to use English as the so-called language everyone understands, as the 'democratic language', but we opt for a more open form, in which Dutch and French are also spoken. We do not translate everything, but ensure balance and the willingness of audience members to help each other.  

This edition, we are already looking forward to the contribution of Brussels-based actor and theatre-maker Salim Djaferi, who for his extraordinary performance Koulounisation departed from the question of what the Arabic translation of the word colonisation was, discovering painful histories. The rest of the programme will be announced later. 


organisation Passa Porta & Kaaitheater