XIV Premio Ostana · 14thOstana Prize – Writings in Mother Tongue
THE CHAMBRA D’ÒC
The Chambra d’Òc is a cultural association that works in the field of promotion and enhancement of the lesser used languages in the world.
In particular, it operates in Italy (Europe), in the Piedmont region, for the protection of the Occitan and Franco-Provençal languages, implementing Law 482/99, established to “to protect historical linguistic minorities”.
THE OCCITAN LANGUAGE
The Occitan language is the ancient Lenga d’òc, which saw its greatest splendor in the twelfth century through the poetry of the troubadours, widespread in all the courts of Europe. Through the key words of the troubadours (words like ‘convivéncia‘: “the art of living together with respect towards differences and in equality”), the foundations of European culture and ethical values were laid.
This language is today widespread in three states: France, Spain and Italy.
SCOPE OF ACTION OF CHAMBRA D’ÒC
The Chambra d’Òc association operates in the field of language promotion through both local and international projects such as the ‘Ostana Prize, Writings in Mothers Tongue’, the creation of the documentary film ‘Bogre -The Great European Heresy‘, tracing the footsteps of Cathars and Bogomils in the Middle Ages in Occitania, campaigns such as ‘Occitània a pè‘ (“Occitania on foot” calling for UNESCO to recognise Occitan as world heritage), territorial projects such as ‘Chantar l’uvèrn‘ (“Singing Winter”), festival of development of the local territory through the promotion of music, cinema, tourism, cuisine of the Valleys, etc.), publishing of books in Occitan, training of operators and linguistic desks who offer language courses, translation and language counselling in Occitan and Francoprovençal.
The main objectives are the protection, promotion and enhancement of the Occitan language and culture in Italy.
ORIGINS OF THE OSTANA PRIZE
The increasing awareness of the importance attributed to linguistic and cultural diversity in international strategies all over the world has led the small community of Ostana, a small municipality in the Alps, to try to make a contribution for the recovery and revival of its native language and to implement an occasion where the language can be practiced whereby the entire linguistic heritage can return to being the centre not only of the attention and of cultural research, but of the entire community’s life as well.
This is the reason why, since 2008, the municipality of Ostana has been promoting an event, the “Ostana Prize: Writings in Mother Tongue”, aimed at supporting and letting others know about the native languages of the world and not just its own. A commitment that arose from the history of the village and from its administration, starting from the request and then the application of the national law that protects the minority languages in Italy.
GOAL OF THE OSTANA PRIZE
The “Ostana Prize: Writings in Mother Tongue” is in fact a celebration of the cultural biodiversity of humanity. The common goal is to listen to the sound of indigenous uncommon languages which want to be alive and keep on living despite all obstacles, and through them discover the past and present stories of the peoples who speak them. The native languages represented at the Ostana Prize have the common characteristic of being unfortunately relegated to a condition of unequal opportunities compared to the dominant language of their reference states (Italian, French and Spanish), and for this reason each of them incarnates a specificity and biodiversity to defend, preserve, protect and describe.
While it is true that each linguistic-cultural area has its own specifics, it is equally true that the problems and difficulties are often shared and very similar, and strategies and plans to be traced can be common to deal with.
The Ostana Prize, born from the desire to know and make known writers, filmmakers, musicians from different parts of the planet, has become a formidable opportunity to meet and exchange experiences for dozens of authors who in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and in Oceania illustrate and make the language of their community alive with their creative work.
13 EDITIONS SO FAR, 44 LANGUAGES
In Ostana, 44 mother tongues have alternated over the course of 13 years. In each edition there has been the presence of at least an indigenous language from outside of Europe.
Amongst the guest languages we’ve had the following physically at Ostana (CLICK ON THEM TO KNOW MORE!): Friulian, Slovene, Cimbrian, Armenian, Sardinian, Tibetan, Totonacan, Rromani, Galician, Maori, Ladin, Basque, Saami, Kurdish, Cheyenne, Corsican, Hebrew, Catalan, Maltese, Sicilian, Yoruba, Shuar, Frisian, Griko, Huave, Breton, Romansh, Innu, Nynorsk, Amazigh-Kabylian, Weslh, Irish Gaelic, Albanian, Occitan, Even, Chuvash, Guarani.
“Una lenga n’es viva que se pòt donar vida a totas causas” (“A language is only alive if it can give life to every thing”): the phrase by Joan Bodon, Occitan writer, motto and thread of this edition, is in fact a current issue of our times: the languages who will take part in the XIV edition (2022) will give life to every artistic expression, from literature, to music and cinema, and therefore capable “of giving life to every thing”. Please find attached in the materials section down below a letter of invitation to come to the Ostana Prize.
We want to show you some videos about the Ostana Prize. You can find them all in our Youtube channel:
- The best moments from the 2019 Ostana Prize
- The best moments from the 2018 Ostana Prize
- Conversation with Kola Tubosun, Yoruba Special Award, 2020 online edition of the Ostana Prize
- Content and interviews from 4th June 2021, online Ostana Prize
- Interview to Josephine Bacon, 2017 International Award, Innu language (in French)