New Commission: New Words
New Words is an audio story in the form of a language lesson. The protagonists of the reading book, a lecturer from Hong Kong Professor Cheung, and a Prague urban planner, Ms Katka, call each other and talk about daily affairs. Ms Katka is learning Cantonese from press articles. Repeated many times, words from the news make her fall into a nightmare.
Karolina Breguła has been learning Mandarin for two years. During the pandemic, she devoted herself to learning with particular intensity. Akin to her protagonist, Breguła has been noting down words and expressions from articles about Taiwan and Hong Kong for more than a year. The list of words in Ms Katka’s notebook comes entirely from the notes made by the artist while reading daily news. Taken out of the context of the articles, the words form a rhythmical musical piece about violence and abuse.
New Words was commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of this Audio Programme at the Digital Cultures: Imagined Futures Festival.