Languages not only imply a way of speaking, but also a whole culture. Therefore, the death of indigenous languages enhances the end of years of history and knowledge that were bound to it. It causes a discontinuity on the cycle of the legacy transmitted to future generations. The Latin-American continent was and still is the home of distinct indigenous ethnicities. Its lands are sources of years of extremely important indigenous lives and histories, as well their languages – being them dead, threatened with extinction or alive.
The Latin America Memorial Foundation, through the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies – part of the Foundation’s command -, will put together a Cultural Action which will present a view on the indigenous languages, aiming the debate on the urgent necessity of thinking and proposing strategies for the preservation of these languages, especially those threatened with extinction.
This first, and main, activity will be an exhibition that will take place on the Marta Traba Galley, located on the Foundation, through the months of august and september. The exhibition will be divided in three parts:
- the display of the theme;
- presentation of the chosen main languages (quiché, quechua, náhuatl and yawalapiti);
- and the information on the languages threatened with extinction as well the policies designed to prevent this loss.
Highlighting the theme, there will be, simultaneously, Academic and cultural activities:
- Scientific programme – discussion tables and seminars with researchers of the area; the academics will be designated by the Universities that compose the Curator Counsel of this Foundation (UNESP, UNICAMP and USP).
- Cultural programme – a Toré (traditional spiritual-religious indigenous ritual) will be held both in the opening and the closure of the Action along with a soiree and the screening and debate of movies related to the subject.
- Nossa América / Nuestra America Journal – the 55ª edition will emphasize the theme through scientific articles.
Furthermore, the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies was conceived by the brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro. It’s a project of cultural, political, social and economic integration of Latin America through research and dissemination of studies on topics latin-american interest. In its mission, the Center carries out symposiums, courses and debates on Latin America.