Living-Language-Land – Listening to nature in languages not our own

The languages we speak shape how we understand the world around us, including our connections to land and nature. But as fast as we’re losing species from our planet, so we’re losing languages that offer different ways of seeing. What connections, ideas and wisdom are we losing as those languages are lost? What powerful strategies for sustainable living might they offer, to help look afresh at our environmental crisis?

living-language-land is a journey through endangered and minority languages that reveal different ways of relating to land and nature. Through 26 words shared in the run-up to COP26 we are giving a global audience fresh inspiration for tackling our environmental crisis.

Our contributors from across the world share, in their own voices, what their powerful words mean to them and their communities. And they explain how the environmental crisis is challenging the deep bonds with land and nature that their words express. Together the words form a rich word bank that offers a fresh, evocative perspective on our environmental crisis – one that’s beyond the scope of the Western-dominated conversation.

Our event includes films and visual content contributed to the project from communities across the world. It also includes conversations with some of our international contributors, allowing the audience to directly engage with the people and experiences that may lead us into a different relationship with our land and nature.

The project will be presented by creative producers Neville Gabie and Philippa Bayley, with contributions from our project partners and contributors.

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The living-language-land project is funded by the British Council COP26 Creative Commissions programme.