Opening speech: A Different Strategy
Language is not an object that can be considered in isolation, as it is not just a tool to convey information. Language is one of the many social practices, inseparable from its environment. It can keep a community together, and at the same time it can divide it and segregate some of its parts. Barriers can rise when there are tensions based on racial or social divisions. Thus, liberal dominant cultures have used languages as a tool of discrimination and coercion, at school, in the employment systems and the media. What does language express of us and our societies? What barriers does it keep untold?