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By The Throat

Documentary by Brussels artist duo Effi & Amir about how our mother tongue determines which words we can pronounce, with far-reaching political consequences. The film will be introduced by Lauren Wagner, Assistant Professor at the Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development Research Group (Maastricht University).

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Without noticing it, our group identity is revealed not just by our appearance, but also by our throats. Our pronunciation and phonation determine the region we belong to, as they are formed by our mother tongue. In BY THE THROAT, filmmakers Effi & Amir investigate the way our voice forms our identity, thus giving us our own internal checkpoint. They show modern variations of the shibboleth, a language test that determines which group you belong to and nowadays decides whether you can pass a checkpoint in Tel Aviv or be given asylum status, but also determines whether someone is seen as a man or a woman.

Introduction Lauren Wagner
The film will be introduced by Lauren Wagner, Assistant Professor at the Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development Research Group (Maastricht University). In her introduction, Wagner will contextualize BY THE THROAT by focussing on the scientific field of sociolinguistics. How do we distinguish social groups based on their use of language? And, can you learn to speak a new language? A crash course Arabic is included!

Amir Borenstein & Effi Weiss, Belgium, 2021, 75 min. Hebrew, Arabic, English, Albanian & Dutch spoken, English subtitles.
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