Festival of Multilingualism
Language Trails, Thessaloniki, Multilingual City 2018
The Festival of Multilingualism started as a new institution for the city of Thessaloniki, unique in all of Greece, in June 2013 with the aim to create a common area of project presentation and collaboration for:
- Foreign language city associations and communities
- Embassies and consulates of all countries
- Educators and schools of the Prefecture
- Institutes, educational and cultural associations, and school parent’s associations
- Non-governmental organizations
- City bodies
- Language and Culture Festival institutions from Europe, but also worldwide
- Citizens from all around the world who partake in similar alternative peacekeeping and fellowship movements
The Festival of Multilingualism is organized by the Municipality of Thessaloniki’s Directorate for Education and Sport through its Programs and Lifelong Learning Department and the Municipal Company of Information, Spectacle, and Communication (D.E.P.Th.E), with the support of bodies and educational institutions from both within and outside of Greece. This year’s events will take place on the 14th-20th of May at the New Thessaloniki City Hall and at the 1st jetty at the harbor. The main aim of the Festival is to highlight the notion of pluralism and continuity as an experience of a society that actively participates in the efforts for collaboration, awakening of the individual, solidarity, and social action both within and outside its walls.
This year’s Festival’s title is:
“6th Festival of Multilingualism, Thessaloniki, 2018. Street Education for Democracy and pluralism”
Locally, the Festival of Multilingualism attempts to highlight the multiculturalism and multilingualism of Thessaloniki, to contribute to the universal understanding of the rich potential generated by the intersection of cultures, all the time seeking to create new opportunities of meeting and collaboration, thus rendering Thessaloniki a polymorphic laboratory of art, speech and common action creation in collaboration with bodies, organizations and institutions from abroad. Above all, the Festival of Multilingualism promotes, encourages, and highlights the languages of Thessaloniki and of the participating countries as well as the active multilingualism of our communities in the Balkans and elsewhere, in more remote areas, thus documenting the crucial role of languages in culture production and contributing to the cosmopolitan image of Thessaloniki, as the unique multilingual city of Europe.
The Festival of Multilingualism includes: round table discussions, theatrical productions, music and dance performances, film screenings, multilingual workshops, research projects, a multilingualism café, memory and photography exhibitions, talks, thematic cycles of academic and research interest, seminars in the form of workshops, language stands, tributes to authors who focused on pluralism, interchangeability, networking and interaction, participatory knowledge workshops for citizens, parents, educators, and children, open discussions, multilingual literacy and calligraphy, the citizen’s cuisine, and the highlighting of the transnational nature of regional cuisines etc. While at the roundtables concerns may arise and a contemplative mood may be created, it is therefore important to ensure active listening and consultation between the present bodies and the citizens during the interim meetings.
The organization of this 7-day Festival has been communicated to thousands of people in Thessaloniki, Greece and abroad, and the series of established partnerships with related European Festivals have rendered the city’s initiative a medium of bringing together communities, families, schools, cities, people, NGOs, and associations. Therefore, the mosaic of people who are asked to live together harmoniously and co-create an open society is acknowledged, while mobility and meeting trails and routes focusing on peace and honest interest are created. The organization includes two (3) open meetings- workshops, (9) training seminars, (3) Multilingualism Café with participating bodies, educators, NGOs and citizens focusing on the innovative Awakening of Languages and Cultures, all in all emphasizing the sustainable development of the individual as a Person in History.
For more information you can consult the Municipality’s website as well as the voluntarily collaborating “Educator’s Group on Multilingualism” website: http://langtrips.wordpress.com/. You can present your own actions via the collaborating radio stations and post on our social network pages.
Municipal City Radio (D.E.P.Th.E)
FM 100/ TV 100
Web radio: Starclassic.gr