Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Salma Arastu's 'Disappearing Alphabets'

Painter Salma Arastu, featured in my January 2014 Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life, is exhibiting in "Living with Endangered Languages in the Information Age", which continues through the end of this month at San Francisco's Root Division, a visual arts nonprofit organization offering arts education, exhibitions, studio space, and opportunities for creative community engagement.

On view is work by 30 contemporary artists (a list is available at the exhibition link above), each addressing the theme of loss of diversity in international languages. Arastu's contribution is the video below, "Disappearing Alphabets: Survival Story of Sindhi Script"; the video presents paintings Arastu created with Arabic and Hindi alphabets and recounts the prospective loss of Sindhi, which Arastu points out is "losing its value" in India as the number of fluent speakers declines and opportunities to learn traditional Devanagari script lessen.

An exhibition reception will be held on January 10. On January 15, artists participating in the exhibition, which was curated by Hanna Regev, will take part in a panel discussion. The evening event, "Explorations into the Rise and Fall of Sign and Artificial Languages", also will include a live dance performance. 

Root Division on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

"Sindhi — The Language of Refugees" at The Alternative, September 16, 2013 

Sindhi Language Day on FaceBook

Also of interest: "Monday Muse: The Endangered Poem Project" (August 22, 2011), which links to The Endangered Alphabets Project

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