Reading in Tongues | Colomboscope

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Dates: January 21 – 30, 2022
Venue: Lakmahal Community Library, Colombo

Colomboscope: Language is Migrant in collaboration with Ishara Art Foundation are pleased to present Reading in Tongues, a reading room at the Lakmahal Community Library envisioned as a space of rest and refuge for autonomous learning, the activation of feminist vocabularies, and artist-led publishing that challenges the linear codes of reading and hierarchical dissemination in the publishing industry. Reading In Tongues borrows it’s title from queer Chicana poet, writer, and feminist theorist, Gloria Anzaldúa’s text ‘Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd World Women Writers.’ The spatial design is composed by ADM Architects, keeping in view the generous ambience of a historic household and garden. It acts as a counterpoint to the Colombo Public Library by bringing oral cultures on par with the published word, making room for sharing literature in privacy and in kinship, immersing in multilingual poetry and Zine making that reorient our relationship with the book as a multifold body. Addressing the intimacy and hardship of writing as a ‘Third World Woman’, Anzaldúa encourages us in this cataclysmic present to remain open and courageous in using our languages as an embrace of the world: May ‘we continue to swim fearless with the length of our own bodies, in a sea of words’.

To view the detailed programme schedule, click here
To view the virtual programme organised in 2021, click here

Participants include Indran Amirthanayagam, Kadak Collective, Jason Dodge, Dora García, Mythri Jegathesan, kal, Omar Kasmani, Kumari Kumaragamage, Mantiq of the Mantis, Yoshinori Niwa, Christian Nyampeta, The Packet, Packiyanathan Ahilan, SCROLL: Projects on Paper, Mounira Al Solh and Nada Ghosn, Slavs and Tatars, T. Thajendran, Bombay Underground, Cecilia Vicuña, Omer Wasim, Belinda Zhawi.

This initiative is supported by ifa, Foundation for the Arts Initiatives, Embassy of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka, Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka and EUNIC.




About Colomboscope: Language is Migrant
The Seventh Edition of Colomboscope: Language is Migrant opens on 20 January 2022. The exhibition and events will be on view to the public and freely accessible from 21 to 30 January 2022. This festival edition brings together over 50 Sri Lankan and international artists, especially fostering South Asian dialogue and encounters with cultural practitioners from the diaspora with exhibitions and events spread over 6 venues across Colombo. Colomboscope 2022 is curated by Anushka Rajendran with artistic director Natasha Ginwala.

Embarking from the words of poet-artist Cecilia Vicuña: ‘Language is Migrant’ – artistic and literary contributions map hybrid belonging, diasporic lineages, and coerced dislocation. Across six chapters, this edition explores how language relations form our selfhood and affinities that outweigh the bind of nationhood and citizenship. Between the counterpoints of stillness and motion we situate practices that critically explore emancipatory and forced mobility—for we cannot deny that the world as we know it is composed of movement at galactic, human, and atomic levels. Artists compose, decipher and perform as vital travellers and storytellers of our times. Often, repairing relations by drawing material articulations from deep losses, silence and erasures while inventing language forms as bridges between communal narratives, official records, and submerged histories.