Slam Poet Bob Holman Tracks Endangered Languages in New Film

January, 2015                                                                                                KQEDArts

Bob Holman is a word man. His decades of frenetic activity in the slam poetry, hip-hop and spoken-word scenes once led Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to call him “the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti.”

Bob Holman with Rupert Manmurulu in Australia. (Photo: David Grubin)
Now, Holman is pouring his love for words into a movement to save the world’s endangered languages. There are roughly 6,500 languages spoken around the world today; linguists estimate that by the end of the century, that number could be cut in half. That’s right: Some 3,000 languages could soon pass away from this sweet earth.

“Every language contains a singular way of looking at the world,” Holman tells me by email. “The brain may be infinite, but we’ve only been able to invent 6,000 of these ways of looking at things. To lose one of these is a tragedy.”   Read more @ KQEDArts


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