The Slanguages research and exhibition explores the creative use of language in a variety of performance mediums, informing audiences about the interation of language, identity and creativity. 

Alphabet blocks spell out slang


Research background

Slanguages is a performance based and touring exhibition project that informs its audiences of the creative uses of languages in a variety of performance mediums in the UKs creative industries. It showcases the work of individual artists while creating new collaborations and performances between artists, non-HEI cultural stakeholders, University partners and the wider public. Slanguages is a part of the AHRC funded consortia project ‘Creative Multilingualism led by the University of Oxford.

Research aims 

Our research draws attention to the way European and non-European languages are used, re-worked, adapted, and sometimes truncated and translated together in the socio-cultural contexts of the artists’ identities, performances and in the impact of their work with different audiences. Slanguages research further investigates the interaction between languages in the performing arts and the types of creativity this generates. Slanguages seeks to understand and illustrate through the exhibition and the commissioning of new performances in collaboration with our artists and cultural partners, and discussions and workshops with a range of audiences, how multilingual performance fosters creativity that is responsive to cultural contexts and audiences.

Research methods

The research has occurred in three phases which at times have overlapped and complemented each other:

  1. A touring exhibition at 4 public venues and associated online resources and education workshops.
  2. Artist research and development.
  3. Performance of creative outputs by the project’s team and interaction with audiences through work in progress Q&A sessions, post-show discussions and networking symposiums (namely with other artists, educators and students, creative professionals and members of the public).

Research outcomes

The Slanguages project resulted in a number of research outputs, including: