A live literature event / art intervention on endangered Arctic language and landscape, conceived, produced and performed by Nancy Campbell.
The languages and landscapes of the Arctic are changing. In 2009 Greenlandic was assigned ‘vulnerable’ status in UNESCO’s Atlas of World Languages in Danger. How does it feel when your language begins to disappear? If you had to lose one word from your own language, what would it be?
The Polar Tombola is a live literature event in which players are invited to take a trip into Arctic culture by learning a Greenlandic word. In exchange for this new knowledge, they are asked to leave behind a word from their own language. All the words that players donate will be added to The Polar Tombola archive of banished words.
A book about the project, The Polar Tombola: A Book of Banished Words will be launched at BABE 2017, with contributions from writers and artists including Sarah Bodman, Vahni Capildeo, Will Eaves, Pippa Hennessy, Nasim Marie Jafry, Lisa Matthews, Phil Owen and Richard Price.
Nancy Campbell is a writer who works across disciplines, from poetry and essays to artist’s books. Nancy’s poetry collection Disko Bay (‘a beautiful debut from a deft, dangerous and dazzling new poet’–Carol Ann Duffy) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2016. Her artist’s books include proviso, Death of a Foster Son and How To Say ‘I Love You’ In Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet which received the Birgit Skiöld Award, and is now reissued in a new edition by MIEL. She was a MarieClaire ‘Wonder Woman’ in 2016 for projects responding to the polar environment and climate change.