RELEARNING MY MOTHER TONGUE
2004, One-channel video

Dealing with the project Relearning my Mother Tongue, I was interested in what migrating subjects are losing moving from one country to another in this time of a fragmented world: the language of one owns country. As an artistic tool Iam putting myself into a dialogue with my mother. The act of vocalization through my mothers’ body, listening to how she speaks out her Mother Tongue gives a glimpse of her whole background. Watching her how she shapes her mouth and moves her face shows an essence of the story of our ancestors and the story of a whole country, simply transmitted though interfacial mimicry from mother to daughter and her daughter again etc. Brought up in Germany, I was always aware to learn German perfectly but later I got lost in historical disorientation. In the search and longing for those familial rootedness through my “original” Mother Tongue, I was confronted with an absence of homeland. What was left to me were only images of family photographs of my first years in the Philippines. As Atom Egoyan says: “There is…a nostalgia for a world which exists as image, and which has itself as referent. You can always go back to an image. But you can’t just go back to a land.”(1997a, 215).

Text (excerpt) was written for the publication Global Alien: The Power of Spoken Word, 2010 and was a contribution to the Tongue Project and its catalogue

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