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Voice - Vouaïe

Margaret & Jim at Speed Patois

The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture are continuing their drive to ensure that Guernésiais continues to be celebrated with a unique project to record Guernsey's ancient language.

Voice - Vouaïe is a partnership project between Guernsey Museums and photographer Aaron Yeandle.  Aaron is taking portrait photographs of people who grew up with Guernésiais and language specialist Yan Marquis is recording a snippet of audio from each participant.  The photographs and audio will create a social history record of Guernésiais and a fascinating exhibition that will be available for everybody in the future.

Matt Fallaize, President, Committee for Education, Sport & Culture said: 'this is all about raising awareness of our intangible culture and celebrating what makes Guernsey unique.  it is very fitting that this important project is taking place in 2019, the International Year of Minority Languages. Along with many other activities planned to celebrate our unique language this year, the Committee will be bringing its Policy Letter to the States in the next few months. We will be asking the States to join us in committing to preserve our language and ensuring that it doesn't become a thing of the past.'

The project originally had the working title of 'Last Native Speakers' but Jo Dowding from Guernsey Museums explains the name change:'There is a rumour that no one learns or speaks the language anymore but this is simply not true; there are people who use it every day'. Importantly, the project has the bilingual title of Voice - Vouaïe. People can choose to say the English word, the Guernésiais word, or both.'

The project was launched at the end of last year and Aaron Yeandle has photographed over a dozen people so far. Aaron is a practising photographer and has exhibited nationally and internationally.  He is also an experienced teacher and has taught photography in Guernsey and at numerous schools, colleges and universities in the UK.  Click here to see some of the photographs taken by Aaron for this project.  

The project team would like to include as many people as possible who grew up with Guernésiais.  If you would like to take part or suggest someone, please contact Jo Dowding on 747264 or Josephine.dowding@gov.gg  

 

Last updated 8.2.2019