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Pidginization as Curatorial Method

Pidginization as Curatorial Method

Messing with Languages and Praxes of Curating

A pidgin language is a grammatically simplified means of communication that normally develops between people that do not have a language in common. It is built from words, sounds, or are an onomatopoeia. Typically its vocabulary and grammar are limited and often drawn from several languages. So it is not the native language of any speech community, but a simplified means of linguistic communication, as it is constructed impromptu, or by convention, between individuals or groups of people.⁠

In this compelling book, renowned museum director, curator and author Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung proposes that pidgin languages and pidginisation as a way of being and doing offer a decolonised reinvention of communicative practices – a space where the boundaries between disciplines of knowledge fall and socio-political, economic, ethical and spiritual concepts and issues are renegotiated. Written as a series of engaging anecdotes, the book grounds its provocative ideas in personal, cultural and political histories of challenge and improvisation, arguing, as Ndikung writes, that ‘pidginised curating is curating that combines works, ideas, practices and languages in resistance to canonical conventions, cultural stasis, ossified practices, dead rhythms and singular forms’.

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