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The Dream of a Common Language - Judith Westerveld

Galleries Lumen Travo Gallery

Lijnbaansgracht 314
1017 WZ Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 6270883

Open Wed - Sat / 13-18 hrs

Exhibition 26 May — 14 Jul

Opening 26 May, 17-19 hrs


The Dream of a Common Language -Judith Westerveld

For the exhibition The Dream of a Common Language, artist Judith Westerveld creates a new body of work that explores the concept of a common language by focusing on marginalized, endangered and extinct languages. Central to her work is a collaborative process of language learning, storytelling and reflecting upon the history and present state of the languages of the San and Khoikhoi, the indigenous people of South Africa, within the broader context of the Dutch colonization of South Africa. What if the Dutch colonists had learned to speak these languages instead of imposing their own language upon those they encountered? And what if we would learn these languages today? These are formative questions in Westerveld's work. Collaborating closely with various individuals and communities that speak marginalized or endangered languages, and with those that reclaim their lost mother tongue, Westerveld's video, audio and performance based work foregrounds their voices and stories. The artworks tell the stories of different San and Khoe languages and the people that speak them, stories that are often missing in dominant historiographies and present day discourse. 


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