The transit lounge is the archetypal transit space, the point where the hyper-global + hyper-local coincide; a location which blurs traditional conceptions of geo-political boundaries, creating pockets of international space within the borders of individual nation-states. An in-between space, it exists relative to a fixed departure and arrival point, not to the area that surrounds it.

The Transit Lounge is a series of overlapping residencies for Australian and German artists and architects in Berlin. It is also a blog where themes relating to the project will develop, collaborations will be initiated and sustained, and observations on the city collected. The Transit Lounge invites you to participate in these transnational conversations by commenting on the blog.

For more information email us: transit [AT] transitlounge [DOT] org

The transit lounge is supported by Culturia and the DAZ

Friday, June 15, 2007

spoken words

Tell me how many languages you speak, and I'll tell you how many people you are"

Armenian proverb. Told to me by a friend that I met in Italy when I used to live there, remembered now because I'm back. Immersed in Italian after the bubble of English that was the Transit Lounge Berlin (a result of my embarrassingly poor German) I've been thinking a lot about the way in which languages change and evolve and the different possibilities for expression - and the concepts that are impossible to express. In the last week I've moved from the place I used to live in the north, where the language keeps traces of the Napoleonic invasion of Europe, turning its grammar back to front to match the French, to Sicily where half my family is from, and where 500 years of Arab invasion have given us sounds that don't exist on the peninsula.

The words that languages miss say a lot about the culture that speaks it. There is no word for privacy in Italian. Slowly, without much conviction, and a degree of amusement, people are beginning to adopt the English word for this most Anglo-Saxon / northern European of concepts. And these thoughts remind me of why I like German, and Chinese, the sticking together of smaller parts (whether characters or words) to express new thoughts. The precision and expression that comes from that. Kathrin - you mentioned longing in your last post Tibetu that is since buried in the blog - I love that one of the German words is the same as addiction. Its so much stronger than the English.


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