VOUAÏE

Work in Progress

The Last Guernsey Speakers project (VOUAIE) is a partnership between the Guernsey Language Commission. The purpose of the project is to create a social and historical record of the last Guernésiais speakers. Guernsey has an ancient language with a long and distinctive history. Guernésiais is the name of the Guerns ethnic language; witch derives from the ancient Norman language.

Today, the number of original native speakers in Guernsey is in fast decline. We feel it’s imperative to capture this present changing situation, as an important part of Guernsey’s heritage and for the future legacy of the Island. In doing so, we will be capturing a part of social history which can be so fleeting.  

This body of work comprises of intimate portraits of the last Guernsey speakers. All of the portraits are taken in people’s homes, showing their private and home environments.  To complement the portraits, I have also photographed their personal objects, which remind them of their homeland.  To accompaniment the series of portraits, participants have also recorded a short piece of audio in Guernésiais.

The exhibition would consist of the portraits of the last Guernsey speakers and a number of their photographed personal objects. Alongside the photographs there will be an opportunity to listen to the participants’ audio recordings of them talking in Guernésiais, together with an English translation.