The ‘My Language’ Project – Young Norfolk Arts (2020)

By Ciéra Cree – Tuesday the 16th of June was when I first heard about the ‘My Language’ project and it really got me thinking. I was instantly intrigued and so many ideas raced…

By Ciéra Cree

Tuesday the 16th of June was when I first heard about the ‘My Language’ project and it really got me thinking. I was instantly intrigued and so many ideas raced into my mind; so many so that I thought that the best way for me to (ironically) use my language to convey them to you would be through the means of just writing things down.

The project is being launched by the Young Norfolk Arts Trust, as a follow-up from last year’s ‘Creative Multilingualism’ Project. In regards to what the project entails:

‘We’re inviting young artists aged 5-25 to respond to the question; what does my language mean to you? This could be your own language, or that of your family, friends and community. You can respond as part of your school group, individually or with members of your household.’


Participants are able to submit their responses to this in whichever medium that they wish. From photography or a short film to poetry or artwork, this opportunity really allows people to get creative!

Although the Young Norfolk Arts Festival exhibition has now passed, it remains as the intention of YNA to work further on this project and to have work displayed from it on the ‘My Language’ website. For more details about the project I recommend that you watch the introductory video provided by Young Norfolk Arts and to check out their page regarding the project.

You can upload a photograph of your artwork, a film, recordings, poetry or stories to or email them to

My Response – What does language mean to me?

I have always been a creative, quote-unquote “articulate” person, so in that more singular sense language appears everywhere. It appears in the books that I read, in my ears after hearing the speech of the people and wildlife around me, and in the poems and songs that I write. It radiates from me in the ways that it radiates from all of us – both overtly as well as silently.

My language is more than just what I say or what you see. It comes in many forms, from the ways in which I choose to visually present myself and the things that I choose to say, to the ways that my mind begins its processes of internalising and perceiving the world. 

A language, in my view, is constructed of many layers, meaning that although people may share a language of speech, our own personal languages still stand as being unique. Body language, boundaries and how we choose to self express. What we dislike, what we like, what media we consume with its influences and how we act. These are all aspects that, collectively, serve to assemble pieces of who we are.

My language is my identity. Well, at least a part of it. It’s my way of communicating myself as well as my thoughts and ideas to the world. Or even just the way that I have to communicate thoughts and ideas to myself, internally.

My language is as much referring to what I don’t say as to what it is that’s being said, and it also refers to the filtering that I go through to decide what will be said or left to remain as unsaid. What can be read between the lines of who I am? Does the world know who I am? Are the languages we communicate within the internal world largely different to that of the external world? To the latter question here I would say yes, although answering that is relatively subjective.

What are your thoughts on these matters? What does “your language” mean to you?

Image: Engin Yapici on Unsplash

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