It’s never too late… make your language famous!
In Spring 2014 language diversity started the Europe-wide online-competition MiLaS for youth and young adults for the very first time. With this competition we would like to promote multilingualism and increase the attractiveness and the image of languages in Europe. It is important for us that – apart from the major languages such as English or German – in particular also the regional and minority languages become more visible in the public sphere. Many of them are seriously endangered.
MiLaS is an initiative that is taking place in the social media, intended to draw attention to the minority languages or smallest languages in Europe.
The objective of the MiLaS war that youth and young adults write and present texts in various languages. The basic idea was that of a poetry slam. A poetry slam is a literary competition in which participants recite their own texts within a certain amount of time in front of an audience. The audience subsequently decides who will be the winner. Our idea was a poetry competition on the subject of multilingualism and linguistic diversity on the European level. That is how the MiLaS came into being, which differs in several aspects from the original concept of a poetry slam. You could e.g. use elements of music in our competition. And of course an online-competition could not take place in real time, so that the competitors had a longer period of time to present their contribution and the audience had more time for giving their rating.
We wanted to encourage everyone to write and present creative, funny or sad texts in their own language. The contributions were to be sent to us in the form of a video. We were happy to receive a wide diversity of languages, especially within each and every single text! In MiLaS you could also mix different languages together.
Every participant could follow his/her own poetic preferences; there were no substantial or formal requirements. All forms of modern literature and poetry were allowed, from classic or modern verse, sound poetry, or also cabaret, comedy or short stories. However, we were especially looking for a rhythmic performance that engages with the audience.
Last, but not least the videos help to depict diversity as part of a map of the minorities and regional and minority languages in Europe.
*Conditions for participation
- self-written poem, song, sketch
- submit the video between 1 April and 30 April 2014
- maximum length up to 3 minutes
- we particularly appreciate the use of regional and minority languages
- the languages used can also be mixed
- all the literary forms and genres are allowed: poetry, short stories, rap or comedy
- you should submit an English or German translation of your video
- possible formats of the video: MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP, WebM
- prior registration through the Facebook-competition homepage
- participants under 18 years may participate with adult support
Our competition took place online. From 1 April 2014 you will find an application for the competition at milas.language-diversity.eu including all the relevant information (conditions for participation, registration, a presentation of the jury and the voting on the videos).
The participants had to submit their videos between 1 April and 30 April. Once the video was online, users of Facebook could give their vote to the best video. The 10 videos with most votes, or likes, subsequently were forwarded to a professional jury. This jury – consisting of 6 persons from different backgrounds and regions – decided on the best five participants of the contest. They were invited to the award ceremony on Europe Day, 9 May 2014 to Sønderborg/Sonderborg (Denmark).
Manuel Bintinger: Singer of the band Coffeeshock Company.
According to the band itself their music must be considered as SuperSkunkRockReggae. The members of the band are Burgenland Croats from Austria.
Foto: Jens Henkenius
Björn Högsdal: author, cultural entrepreneur and leader of poetry-slam workshops.
In 2002 he established together with Patrick Kruse the cultural agency assemble ART, the major organiser of spoken-word-recital and poetry slams in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
Bogna Koreng / Korjeńkowa: Studio director of MDR (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk – public radio and television) in Bautzen/Budyšin and anchor-woman of “Wuhladko”.
She is a Lusatian Sorb from Germany.
Johan Häggman: European Commission, Directorate-General for Translation in Brussels, Belgium
Prof Dr Peter J. Weber: Rector of the SRH University of Applied Sciences for Economics and Media in Calw, Germany
Simon Glöde: The young German-Danish singer from Flensburg was born and raised in Germany, and spent his youth in Denmark. After projects in New York and Copenhagen he is now active in the soulrock-pop-scene of Hamburg with his band.