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Chair of Frisian Language and Literature receives prestigious European grant for research on theatre culture in Friesland

27 January 2021

The department of Frisian Language and Literature at the University of Groningen, represented by Prof. Dr Goffe Jensma, has been awarded a JPICH-2020 grant (Horizon 2020) to conduct international comparative research into intangible heritage: Revoicing Cultural Landscapes: narratives, perspectives, and performances of marginalized intangible cultural heritage.

The research project will take place in collaboration with the Minorities & Multilingualism group of the University of Groningen and is part of an international collaboration with universities in Great Britain (Falmouth University, Cornwall, PI), Latvia (University of Latvia), and Estonia (University of Tartu). Revoicing Cultural Landscapes asks how newcomers to a region appreciate and learn to use its intangible heritage as a common local value.

The Frisian section of the project will focus on Frisian theatre culture. In our current society, theatre is proving to be one of the most important pillars of Frisian self-awareness. At an amateur level, the village theatre clubs still exist in which one half of the village holds up a farce mirror to the other half. Alongside (and somewhat above) these, you find the flourishing phenomenon of iepenloftspullen (open air plays), in which representatives of a whole town, often led by semi-professionals, take to the stage to show the rest of Friesland how they experience the world. Finally there is the professional Frisian theatre, embodied among others by Tryater, which directs itself to both Frisian and Dutch audiences. How do these forms of theatre relate to each other in terms of self-awareness? What role do non-Frisians, non-Frisian speakers play in each of these forms of theatre?

The Frisian outcomes with be compared to research outcomes in the two other minority areas, those of the Cornish and Livonian minorities. This will deliver new insights to all regions involved, as well as new ways to increase the visibility and resilience of minority cultures.

Involved researchers and partners

The research will take place in the period of two years: from 2021 to 2023. The researchers from the University of Groningen are: Dr Antine Zijlstra, Dr Sjoerd-Jeroen Moenandar, and one post-doc, yet to be recruited.

The research is conducted under the supervision of Prof. Dr Joana Da Silveira Duarte (PI). In addition, the partners who are involved in this research project are: Mercator, Keunstwurk and STAF, and Tryater.

For more information, contact Prof. Dr Goffe Jensma

Last modified:31 January 2024 10.03 a.m.

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