1000 Words For Belonging

A multilingual arts project that recognises and celebrates linguistic diversity as a major strength for creativity, community and a sense of belonging.

1000 Words For Belonging is a multilingual arts project based at Gearies Primary School in East London, led by the creative facilitator and writer, Neela Doležalová, in collaboration with the School of Advanced Study’s Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies (ILCS)

The project, which consists of a series of poetry workshops with children at the school, was conceived in direct response to Artangel’s 1000 Words for Weather exhibit, which was housed at Senate House Library (22 June 2022 - 25 March 2023).

1000 Words For Belonging seeks to further the existing research, education and policy work of the ILCS by embedding connections with UK schools that are leading the way in recognising and celebrating linguistic diversity as a major strength for creativity, community and a sense of belonging. Additional objectives include: 

  • Building a sustained reciprocal knowledge exchange project between the University, named creative collaborators, and a specific state primary school that understands how the celebration of linguistic variety is an asset for students’ sense of belonging and can be a foundation of pupils’ creativity and progress in a range of core subjects such as maths, science and English; 
  • Designing and producing a podcast on multilingualism in arts education, charting the journey of this specific project, while also sharing academic research about multilingualism and language development; and
  • Disseminating this work to teachers and other school leaders via Gearies’ role in the Teaching School Hub programme and as a member of the Redbridge Education Partnership, as well as to education policy makers through the ILCS’ existing networks with, for instance, Bilingualism Matters London, UCL’s Institute of Education, and the UK Association for Language Learning.

The project is funded by a grant from the University of London’s Knowledge Exchange fund and builds on previously successful work led by Neela Doležalová and funded by the School of Advanced Study’s Being Human Festival and the University’s Convocation Trust. The project has been further supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Please contact Dr Joseph Ford in ILCS for further information about the project.