Ep. 24: Way With Words; Armina Mussa, Artist & Creative Director of Saint Heron; Mind: Creativity in the City
Stance explores the rise of AI technology, robots and language. We ask if robots will be able to command language in the same way that humans can? We hear from Research Scientist, Animesh Garg from Stanford University, whose work is centered around getting robots to do things that are very obvious to humans - including how they communicate.
According to many, Yiddish, the historical language of the Ashkenazi Jewish people, is under threat. Dating back to the 9th Century, there were approximately 11 to 13 million Yiddish speakers prior to the Holocaust. 85% of the 6 million Jewish people who died in the Holocaust were Yiddish speakers and this lead to a massive decline in the use of the language. Stance talks to Dr Helen Beer, a native Yiddish speaker and lecturer at University College London to and sits in on one her classes.
We continue our exploration of language in our feature, “Way With Words” by asking how a dialect becomes a language? Jamaican born Professor, Genesee Johnson has started teaching Patois or known by linguists as Jamaican Creole at Harvard University. She speaks to Stance about what her love for the language and her passion for teaching it.
Finally, how can our understanding of language past and present inform how we move in the world and relate to other people? Stance concludes this feature by looking at the emerging labels around identity and what they represent.
Are they offering new possibilities or actually holding people back? Stance discuss this area of language with Mel Y Chen - Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at UC Berkeley and writer Yara Rodrigues Fowler.
Stance profiles Armina Mussa, visual artist and creative director of Saint Heron - a multidisciplinary creative agency with a focus on community-building through music, visual art, and performance art mediums, founded in 2013 by Solange Knowles. Armina shares with Stance how a life changing event in 2015, greatly impacted on her life and also helped her find her voice in her art.
Lastly, we revisit our MIND series from our previous episode, in which we explored the links between design and mental health in urban spaces. In this episode, we look at How is the creative community in London responding to the pressures of city life?
In collaboration with UP Projects, we look at how cities can be moulded to fulfil the needs of their inhabitants, but this time we look at how this can be done from the ground up. We try to uncover how people themselves be fully involved in urban innovation so that new spaces created reflect the needs of the communities they are meant to serve, rather than the theoretical or academic models favoured by the innovators themselves.
Stance speaks to the artists and designers working on this including artist Mark King; co-founders of Store Store in London’s Coal Drop Yard; and Torange Khonsari, co-founder and director of Public Works, an art and architecture collective working to create public spaces.
Stance Cultural Shoutouts:
The Breakbeat Poets Vol.3 Halal if you Hear Me - Edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo
Suspirium - Thom Yorke -
Planningtorock - Bealah Loves to Dancing
Runaway - (Kanye West) Charlotte Gainsbourg Cover
Ottolenghi - Loyle Carner
Love Me Right - Amber Mark
TV & Film
Roma - Film by Alfonso Cuarón
Homecoming - (with Julia Roberts)
If Beale Street Could Talk - directed by Barry Jenkins
True Detective - (with Mahershala Ali)
Cover Photo: Armina Mussa