Sun, moon, sea, mountain, captain, carpenter, spoon, knife, wine, thief, hat, church, bell, ink, kitten, somersault, liar, “for how many socks?” and “eat shit!” are some of the 800 words and phases that were translated 400 years ago between Basque whale hunters and Icelanders.

Zuhaitz Akizu and Jessica Auer from Ströndin Studio explore the extent of the “Vocabula Gallica, Vocabula Biscayca” with the aim to create a new dictionary, where images will act as the connection point between languages. This visual dictionary will include photographs accompanied by some old and updated words and sentences. The goal of the project is to consider images as another form of pidgin, a primitive yet critical form of communication that can be likened to a messenger bird connecting diverse groups of people.

This project is supported by the Post Image Cluster of the Milieux Institute for Arts and Culture at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. Photographs courtesy of the Isafjördur Photo Museum, Iceland.

Listen to Ströndin's presentation of the project:


Ströndin Studio
Strandarvegur 29-33, Seydisfjördur, Iceland
+354 784-7884
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Research project: A Basque-Icelandic dictionary for understanding