International Mother Language Day 2024: Museum trail, etymology workshop and comic arts conference

UNESCO International Mother Language Day (IMLD) 2024 took place last week on 21 February, with an inspiring programme of local celebrations presented by Manchester City of Literature and their partners.

This year was the 8th International Mother Language Day observed in Manchester, a celebration of the cultural diversity and the near 200 languages spoken across the city.

Creative Manchester collaborated with partners and colleagues to present a series of events to mark the occasion.

In partnership with the Linguistic Diversity Collective and Manchester Museum, a workshop and language themed trail offered visitors of all ages a chance to learn about and celebrate languages and multilingualism. The ‘Language of Life’ workshop, led by Dr Nick Weise and Dr Tine Breban, explored the origins of scientific vocabulary and where the terms we use for chemicals in the body come from. 

The ‘Looking for Languages’ trail gave families the chance to explore Manchester Museum’s exhibits while thinking about languages along the way. Children who took part commented, ‘I enjoyed it because I learned so many different things,’ ‘It was so good,’ and ‘It was fun exploring.’

In partnership with The University of Manchester and Lakes International Comic Arts Festival colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University hosted the annual ‘Comics Up Close’ conference, this year with the theme ‘Origin Stories’ and featuring keynote speakers Dave Gibbons, Steven Appleby and Karrie Fransman. An exhibition, ‘Collectives for Change’, featuring comics from the Arab world, ran alongside the conference. 

This exhibition is also currently hosted at The University of Manchester, in the Samuel Alexander Building’s glass corridor exhibition space, until Friday, 15 March 2024.

To find out more about International Mother Language day and the local celebrations, visit the Manchester City of Literature website.

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