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The People’s Khonsay
April 22, 2015 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
This is the last chance to see the extraordinary exhibit, Mother Tongues: Endangered Languages in New York City and Beyond.
The evening will begin with a screening of Khonsay: Poem of Many Tongues, the project that inspired the exhibition. This motion poem is written in 50 different minority/endangered languages. A tour de force of poetic styles and cinematic techniques, this 15-minute film is both a celebration of the world’s languages and a call to action to preserve this diversity.
During the course of the exhibit, visitors wrote mementoes of their own languages— untranslatable words and unforgettable phrases—to create a new poem, The People’s Khonsay. Poet Bob Holman and linguist Daniel Kaufman, founders (along with Juliette Blevins) of the Endangered Language Alliance, will perform the poem.
The evening will be punctuated by performances by speakers of endangered languages. World famous Griot, Salieu Susso of Gambia and The Bronx will play kora and sing in Mandinke, Fulani and Wolof. Guitarist and singer James Lovell of Brooklyn and Honduras will perform in Garifuna. Filipina Poet Grace Baldissari will read in Ilocano, Ibanag and Tagalog. Other artists to be announced.