Do your know your 'Slanguages'?

Date: 07/11/2018

The Creative impact of languages in urban British culture explored at new Birmingham exhibition.

Thursday November 8 2018 sees the launch of the new ‘Slanguages’ Exhibition in Birmingham. A collaboration between Punch Records and researchers from Birmingham City University and Creative Multilingualism, University of Oxford. The project looks at the impact of languages in modern creative culture, including music, comedy, visual arts, poetry and sign language.

‘Slanguages’ are creatively playing with and translating different languages and artistic genres used by performers in their musical and artistic work, and are increasingly pushing the boundaries of British urban culture.

The research explores the creative way artists employ and take inspiration from languages such as Pidgin, Patois and urban sign languages. Some of the areas being explored include, for example, How is slang being used in British sign language? Can drums be used to communicate more than just a musical beat? How significant is linguistic diversity for the creative aims of the performers?

Rajinder Dudra
Rapper RTKAL and friends at the Taylor Institute

Professor Rajinder Dudrah, Professor of Cultural Studies and Creative Industries at Birmingham City University, and leading the Slanguages project, said: “The Slanguages exhibition and performances are part of our wider Creative Economy study and has already revealed a range of languages being used by the artist both for communication purposes and artistic development. These include West African languages, Caribbean patois, pidgin and the creation of a new urban form of sign language.

“Our research shows that languages have been key to the formation of their diverse practices and in creating and developing new forms of artistic expressions across a range of performing genres: particularly grime, rap, spoken word, percussion, visual arts and comedy.”

The launch includes performances from Rinkoo Barpaga – a Deaf comedian and film maker who has created his own urban sign language, grime musician and rapper RTKAL, poet and visual artist Tanny Tizzle, and Nigeria’s first Grammy Award winner, percussionist Lekan Babalola. 

Doors open at on Thursday 8 November 2018, 17.00 at The Parkside Gallery Birmingham. All welcome to this fun, free and inspiring event. Register your ticket online at: www.eventbrite.com/e/slanguages-launch-event-tickets-51657040599.

The exhibition runs until 21 December 2018.

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact:

Ciaran Higgins, Communications Officer at the Arts and Humanities Research Council/OWRI Project
Tel: 028 9097 5011
Email:  ciaran.higgins@qub.ac.uk

Professor Rajinder Dudrah is available for comment or further details on this research rajinder.dudrah@bcu.ac.uk

Find further information at: ahrc.ukri.org/owri

For details the Creative Multilingualism programme, visit the Oxford University website.

Find further information on Punch records and a video of the #Slanguages project launch event here. www.wearepunch.co.uk/slanguages/

The Creative industries are worth over £84 million to the UK economy. Read the British Academy Report ‘The Right Skills: Celebrating Skills in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’.  

You can also find out more information by following us on Twitter at @owrilanguages,  @creativelangs or follow Professor Rajinder Dudrah @thedr5

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