If you want a straightforward, practical project to help contribute to leftist, anticapitalist, and anarchist movements, then learn a new language. It is without a doubt one of the most limiting factors in our movements.

What is happened in Iran earlier this year? If I knew farsi I could maybe tell you, but instead I just know what the NYT said happened.

- language.media.mit.edu/visuali

- sciencemag.org/news/2014/12/wa


@poebbel it was from this interactive tool from mit, but looks like the URL is dead now


@paranoid ah, ok. i think your exhortation is spot on, by the way.

linguistic hegemony and racism are also mutually supporting dimensions of the theory and practice of oppression.

@paranoid maybe a bit of a tangent, but one of the most brilliant books i've read in a long time is samia khatun's "autralianama". its starting-point is the discovery of a book in a mosque in an outback mining town. a string of (monolingual) australian historians assume that the book, which is written in bengali, is a copy of the quran. but khatun, who migrated to australia from bangladesh as a child, figures out that it is in fact a compendium of poetry called "kasasol ambia". "australianama" is her attempt to start reading the history of the continent through the epistemic strategies embodied in the book's songs and stories. part of the task is to learn bengali, which at the beginning of her research she herself speaks very little of.

@poebbel when i wrote that, it was in the context of union organizing. I was trying to convince others that you can't just put a poster (or w/e) in english, and then wonder why you're having a hard time making inroads into the Spanish speaking community (or whatever language). It's not simply about the conveying of information (e.g. "rally at noon"). Even if someone *can* read english, it can feel like an overheard conversation, not a direct invitation, if it's not in their 1st lang

@poebbel also, from my personal experience as growing up as a typical monolingual american, and then learning my first language (to even a very low level) really broke my brain (in a good way). Makes the feeling of the arbitrary nature of your place of birth, borders, etc. felt in your bones, rather than simply as an intellectual thought. At least that's how it felt to me

@paranoid yeah, learning a foreign language for the first time can definitely be mind-blowing.

activist groups in the region where i live sometimes put up posters in different languages. it's complicated though. around here, i'm a foreigner, and yet my first language is also one of the hegemonic ones.

do you know anthing about the first nations languages from the area where you live or grew up? that could be cool to learn about, too.

@poebbel not so much where I grew up. I know a *tiny* bit about the language of where I have been living the last decade. There are a lot of anglicized place names that come from the language. There are re-vitalization efforts going on within that community


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The Darkest Timeline

a private mastadon instance to experiment with