Expert Group Language(s)

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The linguistic diversity of the worldwide KAAD community is a specific feature that we would like to offer a scientific forum in this group.

On 27 April 2023, the Expert Group Language(s) met as part of the 36th Annual Convention with 23 members taking part in presence and around twenty guests who joined virtually to discuss the de-marginalisation of the indigenous Mapuche language through literature ("De-marginalising Non-global Languages through literature: The linkage between Mapundungun and the Mapuche spirituality"). First, the group exchanged information about the 13 different mother tongues of the participants and explored the question of whether one's own language is threatened with extinction or has replaced another, regional language in the past. The central point of the event, however, was the exchange with Liliana Ancalao, an Argentine Mapuche poet who was virtually connected to the meeting and whose family belongs to the Mapuche Tehuelche community Ñamkulawen. KAAD scholarship holder Tasun Emmanuel Tidorchibe (doctoral candidate in "Anglophone Literatures / Literary Translation" at the University of Düsseldorf) introduced the problem of de-marginalisation before Edwin Javier Velasco Caicedo, editor of the journal "Leukemia literaria" and KAAD alumnus, introduced Liliana Ancalao with the help of a short video. She suffered the same fate as many indigenous people in Latin America: the denial of her identity. Since the 1980s, she has been working to reacquire Mapundungun, the indigenous language of the Mapuche. The group explored her essay "El idioma silenciado" ("The Silenced Language") to engage in discussion with the author about this process.

The session took place as part of the event series "Indigenous Spirituality and Territory 2023" of the Information Centre for Development Education (EPiZ) in Reutlingen, also supported by the CHAT between WORLDS programme, which promotes global learning and authentic contact between actors from the global South and North.