Mother Tongues Festival: an arts festival with a difference

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Imagine a place where people have fun speaking many different languages, a place where children and adults learn about culture, stories and languages through art-making, music and dance! This is what the Mother Tongues Festival was all about!

Over the last two weekends we hosted more than 50 events in over 20 languages, we met artists, professionals and performers from India, Ethiopia, Russia, Libya, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Egypt, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Spain, France just to name a few! They filled rooms and entire venues in Galway and in Tallaght with their talent, through workshops, talks, poetry, music, dances and science. Participants of the Festival had a chance to listen to multilingual poetry, try Bollywood dancing, draw Irish wild animals with a Polish illustrator, learn Chinese calligraphy, meet musicians from Congo and Nigeria and learn Japanese through origami making!

Galway Mother Tongues Festival. 22nd and 23rd February 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Galway Mother Tongues Festival. 22nd and 23rd February 2019. Picture Elena Cristofanon
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com

The aim of Mother Tongues Festival is to promote languages and cultures in Ireland through the arts. Most of the people we spoke to at the events told us that they were happy to learn something new through languages that are currently spoken in Ireland and many families said they loved the opportunity to cultivate and share their community languages outside of the home.

As we pack our Festival suitcase and go home to prepare our 2020 edition we are filled with the positive energy gained at the event.
There are so many people we need to thank! We are extremely grateful to RuaRed, the Civic Theatre and Galway2020 for believing in our project and making it happen in Dublin and Galway. Without the support of the Arts Council, South Dublin County Council and the Small Town Big Ideas Initiative our festival could not have been so successful. We are honoured to have been granted funding to pursue our dream! The many sponsors that have come on board this year have allowed us to make it an even more special event! We are very grateful to RTE', the Ambassade de France en Irlande, the Goethe Institut, Languages Connect, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dublin, St. Kilian's Deutsche Schule in Dublin, the Dublin School of Mandarin Chinese, Your English Language School in Dublin, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Brady Languages, The Stop B&B, Atlas Language School, Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia, the Chester Beatty Library, Unuhi, Irish Architecture Foundation, Áras na nGael, Creative Ireland and Massimo Russo.

And last but not least, do not forget that the festival is only good craic if you come!
A MASSIVE thank you, grazie, merci, gracias, obrigados, mulțumesc, go raibh maith agat teşekkürler 
to all the hundreds of people who have attended our two Festivals!

See you in 2020!

If you would like to be the first to know, subscribe to the Mother Tongues Festival Newsletter.

Galway Mother Tongues Festival. 22nd and 23rd February 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Galway Mother Tongues Festival. 22nd and 23rd February 2019.  Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Galway Mother Tongues Festival. 22nd and 23rd February 2019. Picture Elena Cristofanon.
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Galway Mother Tongues Festival. 22nd and 23rd February 2019. Picture Elena Cristofanon
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography. www.enzofrancescotesta.com

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