Sabir on board - an upside-down language course on the sea

Sabir, the old Mediterranean lingua franca, recalled in every sailor the sense of belonging to the Mediterranean people. The sharing of words, prayers and colourful characteristic expressions built the heart of the union among people sailing the sea. Every person who went aboard learned a name, a verse but also brought in a word.

Thinking today of Europe as a union of diverse people from different parts of the world, we invite a group of young people from different parts to continue this archaic way of creating a new, mutual language. „Sabir on board“ is not a language class being taught but an adventure of “building together an everybody’s language”. The most beautiful, expressive and meaningful words from each language of the individual crew members will be shared and integrated into a new language: „our personal Sabir“.

Aboard two small sailing yachts, two crews formed by Europe’s young generation, will live an extraordinary experience of sailing together in the South of the continent, meeting local communities, listening to stories and sharing their own story.

Ships have always been a cultural melting pot and – in the words of Foucault – the biggest reservoir of imagination ever. Ships constructed the world as we know it, in the beginning by scientific and geographic discoveries, later by becoming preferred carriers of trade between distant countries.

As Pessoa said, “Our homeland is our language”, thus integrating other people’s words into our own language means welcoming other people as messengers of meanings, emotions and expressions. This way of understanding language does not only make us richer, but is also the ground of people’s union, where diversity and multitude turn into essential values.

Ships were also the first vehicle of transporting knowledge and the first cosmopolitan place in history. This is why two small sailing yachts can be the fruitful womb of conceiving a new sense of homeland. Departing from a language we all share and communicate with, we can build a temporal unique society on the water, remembering that man is always and just a part of nature and life itself.

The experience will be accompanied by a small two people film team and end up in a cinema documentary about the Mediterranean Sea and its people called „Stories from the Sea“. All participants should be okay with being filmed and to be part of the film.

You can read more about the documentary here

Also feel free to contact the director directly if you have more questions, writing to [email protected]

If you want to become part of this unique experience of navigation, sharing, reaching out to others and discovery, please apply here. Refugees and migrants are more than welcome to apply too. Just bear in mind to be able to travel within the European Union. The film production might be able to take over the participation fee and traveling costs for participants with no funancial stability.

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