Speech and Silence

Hannah Gibson and Ida Hadjivayanis

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Arrangert avLitteraturhuset

The Legacy of Colonialism Hannah Gibson and Ida Hadjivayanis

Out of Africa’s 54 countries, 27 have English as their official language, while French is the official language in 21 countries. Most people on the continent, however, do not have a former colonial language as their mother tongue.

For many, this has direct consequences for their opportunities in an education system and labor market based on a language in which they are not fluent, as well as their ability to engage in public debate and access literature and media. How does it affect your identity and sense of self when you’re not allowed to speak your mother tongue at school?

Dr. Hannah Gibson teaches language and linguistics at the University of Essex, and her research focuses on the languages spoken in Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as connections between language and social justice. She will talk about the consequences for multilingual societies when one language dominates the public sphere and the education system.

Dr. Ida Hadjivayanis teaches Swahili at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and is behind the first ever translation of Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah into an African language. She will talk about the connections between decolonization and multilingualism on the African continent, about the importance of translation and the emerging role of Swahili as a lingua franca for Africans.

Following their talks, Gibson and Hadjivayanis will join on stage for a short conversation, led by PhD candidate at the University of Oslo, Marta Mboka Tveit.

In a series of events, we will examine the concrete traces of colonialism that still shape the societies we live in. The event will be in English.

Litteraturhuset Wergeland In English https://litteraturhuset.ticketco.events/no/nb/e/arven_etter_kolonitiden_spraak_og_stillhet Free tickets will be available from 25. February 9.00 AM

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