LANGUAGES MATTER! A UNESCO poster competition

Competition Details

A New View

by cam88
Co-authors: Brian J. Delas Armas

This poster represents a visual interpretation of the quote "A different language is a different vision of life" described by linguists Benjamin Lee Whorf and Edward Sapir, anthropologist Franz Boas, and most popularly attributed to Italian movie director Federico Fellini. The iris represents a satellite view of planet Earth and is looking towards the background. In the background, the quote is translated into various languages spanning the global community: English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Filipino, Italian, Japanese, Swahili, Portuguese, Greek, Russian, Romanian, and Inuit. These languages represent only a portion of the planet which reflects accordingly back on the iris; the iris contains only a partial view of planet Earth. As captured by Linguist K. David Harrison in his work "When Languages Die," "language disappearance is an erosion or extinction of ideas, of ways of knowing and ways of talking about the world and human experience." Acquisition of multiple languages enables an individual to "see the world through another's eyes." The individual is allowed a new in-"sight", a new thought, a new idea into the human condition. Without having this list of languages to look at, the iris would be staring at an empty background.