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From left: Ann-Sofie Nielsen Gremaud, Johan Sandberg McGuinne, Sofiya Zahova and Hedina Tahirović-Sijerčić. Photo ©Kristinn Ingvarsson.

An exploratory workshop with experts in translations and literary production was held in Veröld – House of Vigdís on 7–8 June 2023, as part of the Vigdís International Centre’s programme in the framework of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 (IDIL 2022-2032). 

Invited guests at the workshop were Hedina Tahirović-Sijerčić, Romani activist, writer, translator and linguistic researcher and Johan Sandberg McGuinne, president of Bágo, Saami Writers’ Association in Sweden. The workshop was led by Sofiya Zahova, director of the Vigdís International Centre and other participants were Ann-Sofie Nielsen Gremaud, chair of the board of the Vigdís International Centre and Ásdís Rósa Magnúsdóttir, chair of the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages. 

The National Plan of the Vigdís International Centre for implementation of IDIL2022–2032 includes four major priority areas and programmes: Linguistic landscape, Languages contact and indigenous languages in the West Nordic region, Romani language literary heritage, Translations, and Contribution to UNESCO’s World Atlas of Languages. In the exploratory workshop, a discussion was launched on the role and engagement in possible international activities, campaigns, and actions that the Vigdís International Centre and partners can initiate and work on in order to achieve a better status of the small languages in the West Nordic area, Sámi languages and Romani language.

Since the start of IDIL 2022–2032, the centre has been serving as a platform for dialogue and collaborative action where indigenous communities’ representatives and allies, as well as experts, decision-makers and political leaders, get together on a neutral territory that does not carry the political and historical legacies of various forms of persecution towards indigenous peoples, many of them related to centuries of language oppression.


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