Love Speech

Let's create new Icelandic words!

Love Speech is a project that emphasizes lived realities, emotional literacy and ownership of the Icelandic language. As the title of the project implies, the emphasis is on playing with words and all those involved in the project are therefore encouraged to create new Icelandic words. The words are then collected in a new dictionary which is kept in the Reykjavik City Library and available to consult on location. In addition to the object of the dictionary, we are creating a platform to discuss what is dear to us - our experience of communication.

author presenting a word

Love Speech is a tool to develop a more open language community and encourage respectful communication. The project does not at all aim to ignore or downplay experiences of hate speech. It is clear that the manifestations of hate speech are many in our society and the consequences are serious. One of the consequences of hate speech is that people withdraw from public discussion. The Reykjavik City Library wants to create a platform where diverse groups have the opportunity to express their own experiences in their own words. Icelandic is the language of all of us who live here, just like the fight against hate speech should be everyone's fight. To many people, it is not always clear when they are using hate speech, but we know when we speak out of love. The outcome of this is a collection of words that were created in this environement.

new words on post-its

Project managers: Dögg Sigmarsdóttir and Martyna Daniel from the Reykjavik City Library
Partners: Ós Pressan, R.E.C. Arts, Hvassaleitisskóli and Juan Camilo Roman Estrada
Consultants: Achola Otieno (Inclusive Iceland), Chanel Björk Sturludóttir (Mannflóran), Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson, prof. emeritus of Icelandic language at the University of Iceland, and Miriam Petra Ómarsdóttir Awad, anti-racist activist.

Hate Speech

The project is supported by the Development Fund for Immigrant Issues and Sprotasjóður.

For more information:
Martyna Karolina Daniel
Specialist of intercultural affairs