Many people have voiced enthusiastic support for the idea of constructing a statue, mural, or mosaic in central Canberra to celebrate the multilingual nature of Canberra during our 100 years celebrations in 2013. This would be a powerful symbol of the important role of languages in our past (including Aboriginal languages of course), today, and for the future of Canberra as a cosmopolitan international city and national capital. This idea was inspired by a fantastic languages statue in Vancouver Canada.
Ideas for the project have included
- a mosaic with the words ‘Long live Canberra - it is my home’ written in all the languages that are spoken and represented by residents in Canberra
- a competition for the design, including which phrase would be translated into the various languages
- a tiled area people could walk over and see their language represented: schools could contribute tiles they have made and have a firing for the artwork
- a simple message recorded by speakers of the many languages living in Canberra, these recordings then played at random when triggered by a passer-by.
- an interactive sound installation like those in Sydney by Paul Carter
- linking the monument with activities around International Mother Language Day (21 February) or International Peace Day or Harmony Day (both in September)
- incorporating the ability to change the recorded message each year - thus involving people again and again and also keeping the message and the languages used to transmit it interesting and relevant.
Your thoughts on this project welcome!!