On Friday 18th, 2018 The Language Project, Shaghayegh Cyrous's and mine initiative, hold a participatory performance at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive title The Story About My Mother (Tongue).
We made a collective embroidery remembering out mothers while we shared stories about our mother and our mother tongue(s), in 8 different languages.
I could only be present virtually. Seeing everybody, participating, and talking made me think, not for the first time with The Language Project events, about the spaces for witnessing. A lot of time, people only reading about The Language Project's premise, wonder about the possibilities and limits of sharing when participants can't "understand" each other. And although very little actually "gets lost in translation", the main point might not be the moments when somebody answers my questions exactly even though they don't speak Czech, but it is in the moments when everybody witnesses and pays attention to a story being told in one's mother tongue without asking for explanation in English.