phōnē – Giving Minority Languages a Voice is a project to safeguard and promote cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe. We will connect people who belong to a language minority in their countries with European values across language and cultural borders. 10 institutions are cooperating for the first time, breaking new ground for Regional- and Minority Language (RML) theatre sector and improving their standing nationally and internationally. phōnē is the first ever major international collaboration between theatres working for minority languages.

“Languages are vehicles of our cultures, collective memory and values. They are an essential component of our identities, and a building block of our diversity and living heritage.”

The loss of a language means not only the loss of a basic element of communication, but also of a complete system of knowledge developed over time. The disappearance of a language also means the loss of a unique, unrecoverable universe associated with a particular environment. It means the loss of diversity.

phōnē makes an active contribution to the vitalisation of endangered minority languages. In order to keep endangered languages alive, theatre is one of the most suitable media because it provides a space for language, but also because it uses non-language-based forms of communication. In this way, theatre in particular makes it easier for people who do not yet have a confident knowledge of the minority language to get started. This will safeguard cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe. Strengthening the cultures and their languages will also strengthen the economic basis of the theatres working in these minority languages.

phōnē aims for three main objectives to strengthen theatre in its role of vitalising endangered minority languages.

A – Giving Minority Languages a voice
Together we are searching for narratives that tell about the people in their minority language region. The stories are about and from people who live and work in remote regions of Europe and are written and developed in the respective minority language.

B – Giving Minority Languages a European stage
The developed texts need a stage to reach the widest possible audience. As different as the expected narratives will be, so different will be the stages (outreach / site-specific / digital) on which they are presented. Different formats support the goal of addressing the broadest possible audience in the communities and involving them both passively and actively in the use of their minority language.

C – Giving minority Languages a platform
The partners are developing different methods to reach their audiences, including participatory formats, real and digital. This knowledge and expertise should now be shared in other language communities.

phōnē brings artists (writers, actors, directors, Community Theatre directors), their works and their audiences out of regional isolation into a European exchange where they share their ways of working and learn from each other.