Arts and culture

The Dalhousie Language Council is getting artsy

Students use language and art to promote linguistic diversity at Dal

On Wednesday the Dalhousie Language Council used the power of art to promote the diversity of language on campus.

The event took place in the Student Union Building at Dalhousie University. All art supplies were provided by the council, in addition to free popcorn.

Kevin Bishop is officially the treasurer of the language council who is a member of the Dalhousie Student Union, but in reality he shares the same duties of all members of the council. He thought making the mural was a good way of showing the diversity of languages at the school.

“I like to think that art and language are two things that connect people,” said Bishop. “I hope we get ideas from different people and see what we can come up with.”

The council plans to finish the mural on Monday.

Read on to find out why people took part and what they wrote:

The canvas is prepared.   Luke MacDonald

Bishop divided the canvas into grids so that there could be a personal spot for everyone who wanted to be involved in the project.  

Kevin Bishop signs the mural.   Luke MacDonald

Bishop was the first to mark up the mural. He signed as representative of the council in his native language, English.

Grailing Anthonisen began going to French language school in Grade 9. She painted the French saying, “le petit train va loin.” In English this means to go at your own pace.

She said people don’t do that enough anymore.

Anthonisen also felt that the mural was important for showing acceptance at the university.

“I know someone who was told to speak English while they were speaking Arabic by a passerby on campus, so it is still not as welcoming here as it should be,” said Anthonisen. “I think it is important that everybody feels comfortable speaking whatever they feel comfortable speaking. Not everyone’s first language is English, so it is unfair to impose that.”

Grailing Anthonisen writes in French on the mural.   Luke MacDonald

Anthonisen was one of the first people to write on the mural on Thursday.

Jimena Prado poses for the camera.   Luke MacDonald

Jimena Prado wrote in her native language of Spanish. The quote she wrote expressed her desire to be buried in Spain when she dies.

Marion Armstrong says hello, in German and in English.   Luke MacDonald

Marion Armstrong chose to do a painting in German which was her native language.

The German way to say hello, as written by Marion Armstrong.   Luke MacDonald

She wrote the German word moin, which in English means hello.

Each pin represented a different language.   Luke MacDonald

The council put a pin on a map for every language that was put on the board. By the end of Wednesday there were 14 pins. Organizers hope to fill the map by Monday.