A Project by Anush Hamzehian and Vittorio Mortarotti
According to the mapping made by UNESCO in 2010 for the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 250 languages have disappeared in the last fifty years and 3,000 are currently in danger. Languages disappear at a speed that is unprecedented in the history of humanity.
A language dies bringing with it a precise knowledge of the environment that it has named for centuries: plants, animals, diseases, religion. Along with a language, a conception and a vision of the world disappear forever.
Yonaguni is a small piece of land surfaced from the sea, far from everything and beaten by the strongest currents of the Pacific Ocean. There are no more than a thousand people living on the island, few of whom still speak the Dunan.
Dunan is a Severely Endangered Language: in a few years it will no longer exist and it will be definitely forgotten.
Together with the language the whole universe of Yonaguni is dissolving. On the island there is no work, there are no high schools, there is no future; the families abandon it, the old people die.
L’Isola aims to collect the last images and the last sounds, the last glimpses of a fading community.
L’Isola is a project by Anush Hamzehian and Vittorio Mortarotti and it consists of a sound installation, a multi-channel audio-video installation and the publication of two volumes: the art-book L’Isola and the Dunan-English dictionary.
The project is sponsored by Fondazione Palazzo Magnani and it is supported by the Italian Cultural Institute of Tokyo and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.