Donna had spent one week with the Green light participants before she developed her workshop concept, as to get to know at least some of them more closely and to acquire a better understanding for the group’s dynamics and needs. Eventually, she chose for a more pragmatic approach, namely to collectively create multi-linguistic dictionaries in the form of small zines with the aim to provide the participants with a tangible tool for the interaction with one another as well as with Biennale visitors in particular.
Everyone was invited to come up with a phrase that was meaningful to him or her. In the next step this sentence would get translated into the various languages and dialects present in the group: Edo, Zulu, Bengali, French, Dutch, German, Italian, English, Afrikaans, Setswana, Urdu, Farsi. Those who were illiterate, were encouraged to translate the phrase into a symbol or sign.
In the end, each zine got copied so that everyone would have one copy of each dictionary. During the collective translating activity, discussions about the origins of dialects, political circumstances, and religion came up and generated a very concentrated and intriguing atmosphere. Above all, presumably unprecedented interactions between the rather silent and shy Am Alwar from Bangladesh or Yacouba and Asad occurred since they did need each other's translations as to make their dictionary complete.
The following zines were created:
I AM HUMAN
I WANT PEACE
LET’S SHARE OUR DREAMS
THANK YOU VERY MUCH