Dear Friend of the Endangered Alphabets:
We’ve just completed one of our most ambitious projects yet: the Mother Tongue project.
The plan was to carve the phrase “mother tongue” in four alphabets of Bangladesh (where International Mother Language Day was born): the national language of Bangla and three indigenous endangered languages: Mro, Marma and Chakma.
Thanks to supporters like yourself, we succeeded beyond our hopes or expectations.
First, the Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to send the carving for exhibition in Bangladesh met its goal of $1,000 within the first 24 hours. I’ve run several Kickstarters, but none that has achieved so much so quickly.
Next, thanks to photographer Tom Way and designer Alec Julien we created a poster, based on the Bangladesh carving, for International Mother Day. The poster went viral on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Students all over the Boston area had themselves photographed holding the poster to show support for cultural preservation and the right of minorities to speak, read and write in their own languages. (See photos at the head of this post.)
All this publicity led to a wide variety of new friends hearing about and being drawn to the Endangered Alphabets. In the past month alone, we’ve made contacts who can furnish me with texts in no fewer than eight endangered writing systems I haven’t yet carved. That’s astonishing. Plans for carvings for International Mother Language Day in 2017 are already under way.
Finally, the Bangladesh carving was recently unveiled at an arts complex in Chittagong to a wonderful reception (see below).
Thanks again for your interest in the Endangered Alphabets. I hope we can continue to count on your support as the range of our activities develops and we get closer to the goal of a world in which everyone has the right to speak, read and write in his or her own language of birth.