Thursday, November 15, 2012

ELEMENTARY COURSE IN ARABIC - 8 January to 7 February 2013 (5 weeks)

This course aims at developing students’ abilities to read and write Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and acquire basic oral skills to interact in limited aspects of everyday life situations. Emphasis is on mastering the Arabic alphabet, its sound system and its pronunciation.
This course assumes no previous knowledge of the language. It covers the Arabic script and basic grammar rules. It is designed to develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing by the use of oral and written drills, supported by audio visual material.
On completion of the course students will have acquired: the ability to read and understand a range of simple Arabic sentences within a vocabulary range of 100-150 of the most commonly used words; the ability to speak at a basic level in Modern Standard Arabic and elementary knowledge of some Arabic cultural practices and traditions.
The lecturer will be Ms France Meyer (Lecturer in Arabic at CAIS, ANU). 
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 4.30—7.00pm               Cost: $450
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Building 127), Ellery Crescent, The Australian National University 
To register your interest,  please contact the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (The Middle East and Central Asia) on (02) 612 54982 or email

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Interactive multilingual artwork for Civic Square

A community project under the auspices of Canberra Multicultural Community Forum (CMCF) in partnership with the ACT Office of Multicultural Affair.

Following a call for expression of interest (EOI) in February 2012, the concept ‘Lingua Franca Canberra’ was chosen for further development. The Canberra-based artistic team which submitted this EOI comprises Lea Collins, sound artist and designer; Susan Conroy, cultural planner and project officer, Mary Hutchison, writer and public historian; and Heike Qualitz, visual artist. 
With funding from CMCF, the team has developed a Design Development Report for their artwork. Lingua franca Canberra will be a rich tapestry of voices, accents, speech rhythms, turns of phrase and languages. The interactive intentions of the work will be established through a recording process with community participants, which is enjoyable and inventive, and encourages participants to contribute ideas. Conversational fragments will be interlaced with environmental sounds and strands of music.
The sculptural form will provide a physical frame for the sound installation and respond to the elements of the immediate space, including both natural and built aspects. It will be accessible to those passing by and encourage further investigation. A key visual form for the installation is that of the funnel – inspired by old gramophones – and suggesting active listening (see sketch below). 
The next steps include ensuring that the proposed artwork complies with the Civic Square Conservation Plan currently being developed and that there are no hidden problems beneath the proposed site. The team can then finalise the design and we can start raising necessary funds for constructing, installing and maintaining the artwork.
For more information, please contact Mandy on