Can you develop a new language for a city that reflects the diversity of its population? And how do you do this? Artist Ahilan Ratnamohan, a global citizen himself, took up the challenge, together with Leeuwarden residents. The result: Pidgin Leeuwarden has seen the light, with its own founders, a vocabulary and a performance. Pidgin reflects the city’s demography, constantly under development, with influences old and new. The language has something to say about the city residents, featuring their favourite words and indispensable sayings from their mother tongue as well as the linguistic cross-pollination that takes place. From habibi to lytse pop, Pidgin takes you on a global journey through Leeuwarden.
In the weekend of 25-27 June, the Westerkerk will be transformed into the Pidgin Institute, the centre for the new Leeuwarden urban language. Mirroring the tradition of major language institutes like the Alliance Française and Goethe Institute, you can spend some 90 minutes experiencing Pidgin Leeuwarden and discovering the stories behind the language. Courses and meetings will prepare you for speaking your very first words of Pidgin Leeuwarden.
Pidgin Leeuwarden is a project brought to you by Productiehuis Explore the North, the Afûk, Leeuwarden City of Literature and artist Ahilan Ratnamohan (from the Brussels artists collective ROBIN), and is supported by We the North via the Proeftuin Meertaligheid (Multilingualism Lab). Pidgin Leeuwarden will be followed by Pidgin projects in other cities, including Groningen and Zwolle.
Times and other information
Fri 25 June 8.30PM (premiere) > book your dinner in De Westerkerk for this day
Sat 26 June 7.30PM
Sun 27 June 3.30PM
Westerkerk | Price: € 12,50 | Language: Pidgin Leeuwarden
About Ahilan Ratnamohan
Ahilan Ratnamohan is an Australian theatre maker of Sri Lankan descent who moved to Europe for his football career. When this went otherwise than expected, he decided to transform his experiences into theatrical performances. He has been living in Antwerp since 2012, where he is part of an artists collective called Brussels Kunstenaarscollectief ROBIN. His cross-disciplinary performances take place in both Europe and Australia. Themes which often recur in his work include sports, sport choreography, cinema and linguistics (language acquisition).