Literary Nonfiction. Art. PIDGIN TOGUE is a book, sculpture and workshop project by artist Stine Marie Jacobsen commissioned by the Riga Biennale 2018 and curated by Katerina Gregos. Conducted as a collaborative and experimental writing workshop, where mother tongues will split, be re-welded and transformed into new (step-)mother/pidgin tongues through translation of idioms, mutation of words and new laws. During the workshop, children re-examine their relationship to both Latvian and Russian languages to create a dictionary for a new language through which they will stake their claim on a future for Latvian culture. PIDGIN TONGUE draws on this vision from "the next generation" to develop a new "pidgin constitution" and make an absurdist monument sculpture for it--bringing attention to the fact that all constitutions are in essence arbitrary social constructs which enforce a normative set of "accepted" behaviours. The purpose of Jacobsen's project is to generate insight into the differences that arise in social recognition and perception in relation to the use of Latvian and Russian mother tongues. PIDGIN TONGUE will strive to create an environment where the children can feel some freedom from the weight of the social ideologies and existing stigmas of this highly politicised topic in order to define their own relationship to the two languages. The project gives meaning and shape to young people's dreams, fears and hopes for the future in Latvia, and comments on a shift in national empathy through an abstract review of the current constitution.
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