REUNIÓN: LANGUAGE OR DEATH
language movement

Book: Download (in spanish)
Audiobook: Download (in spanish)
With Rakibul Hasan Razib, Afroza Rhaman, Elahi Mohammad Fazle, Pepa Torres Pérez.
In collaboration with Valiente Bangla, Museo Situado and Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain.
April, 2020.




Razib, Afroza y Elahi are migrants. They were born in Bangladesh and now live in Madrid. On March 26, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, Mohamed Hossein, a member of their community, died in his confinement after calling the health services for six days.  No doctor went to see him, no ambulance went to look for him, he spoke little Spanish.

Since then, together with other migrant and social organizations, they are building a language movement, demanding compulsory oral translation in health centers, schools, courts, state offices. Interpretation now to understand, to be understood, to live in their language.

In 1947 India is divided and what is now Bangladesh became part of Pakistan. In 1948 the government of Pakistan tried to establish Urdu as the exclusive language of the whole territory. Immediately, students and young people organized mass demonstrations and protests, a popular insurrection called Language Movement. That events drove to the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. The official language of the new country is the Bangla.

During April 2020 I called them on the phone. They spoke to me and I listened. I asked a few questions and sounds so they knew I was still there. I recorded their voices and as soon as we hang up, I played them and wrote them down. Every time they paused to inhale, I went to the next line. I erased the recordings, sent them the texts and we corrected them together. We made this book, which has an ebook and an audiobook that can be downloaded for free, and a printed book that is distributed by the community.