"If you could lose one word from your language what would it be?" At events around the UK I have invited members of the public to answer this question. The responses have come back in many languages and different styles of writing.
As an artist and writer who works with the polar environment, I'm fascinated by the languages of the Arctic, and the traditional knowledge they reveal about polar ecosystems. Since the 1800s, 21 languages have become extinct. Last year I toured The Polar Tombola, a participatory art event to ask the public: what happens when a community begins to lose its words?
Hundreds of people played The Polar Tombola in cities around the UK, and now I want to bring some of the words they left in my safe-keeping to other readers in a new book, along with texts specially commissioned from seven contemporary writers: Vahni Capildeo, Will Eaves, Nasim Marie Jafry, Pippa Hennessy, Lisa Matthews, Phil Owen and Richard Price. All 128 pages of The Polar Tombola: A Book of Banished Words will be beautifully typeset by Christian Brett of Bracketpress, and full-colour printed on 150gsm Munken Polar by Tompkin Press, Nottingham to a high standard. Photography is by Lucid Plane.
This crowdfunding campaign will raise funds required for book printing. Other project funding, covering book design and writer's fees, was generously provided by an award from Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.
This book will take the words back into the world, while the Polar Tombola archive will be preserved in the collections of a major London library for posterity.
Risks and challenges
I am experienced in project managing publications, having seen 10 books through press as publisher, and contributed as writer and editor to many more. The Book of Banished Words is designed and ready for press. You can therefore expect a quick turnaround on your reward.
I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to raise funds for an artist's residency at Ilulissat Kunstmuseum, Greenland. "Icebergs of Ilulissat" achieved over 200% of its target funding.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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