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Endangered Languages and the Media

July 19, 2001: This message was distributed by Papyrus News. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For info on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.

The Fifth FEL Conference
Agadir, Morocco: 20-23 September 2001

Among the most powerful instruments of the process we have come to know as globalization are the mass media. Through the written and spoken word, the world's mass media, their ownership increasingly concentrated, exercise a strong influence on all but the very remotest of the world's languages. And the pattern of use and control of the world's press and broadcasting has shifted even faster than the shrinking of the world's minority languages.

The venue for this year's conference, our first outside the English-speaking world, is the coastal city of Agadir, Morocco. Our conference programme gives an opportunity to exchange ideas and experience on this challenging topic with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, as well as to explore the city, the beaches (swimming possible until late autumn) and the hinterland. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, within reach of the Sahara, Agadir and its surroundings are fascinating in terms of history, culture and nature (with unique bird reserves).

This conference welcomes everyone with an interest in and concern for the use of endangered and minority languages in the printed, broadcast and electronic media. We are inviting not only academic researchers in the fields of endangered languages and media studies, but also media professionals and practising journalists, and of course native speakers of endangered languages. With that in mind we are offering a 25% discount on the registration fee for journalists from any country who can produce proof of their status (journalists' union card, press card &c.) when registering for the conference.

What exactly is the relationship between the globalization of the media and increased pressure on minority languages? Is there a hopeful side, as the cost and technology bases of the media are revolutionized?

The fifth international conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages aims to pinpoint the processes and seek new tactics for coping with them: hoping, at the very least, to channel some of the power of the media for the good of small languages, and put forward tentative answers to many pending questions.

Hassan Ouzzate (Conference Chairman, Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco), Christopher Moseley (Conference Programme Chair), Nicholas Ostler (President, FEL), Nigel Birch (Secretary, FEL)

Programme committee:
Hassan Ouzzate, Nicholas Ostler, Christopher Moseley, Nigel Birch, Karen Johnson-Weiner, Davyth Hicks, Mahendra Verma, Alasdair MacCaluim, Louanna Furbee, Karl Teeter, Eugene McKendry, Paul Baker, Patrick Williamson

The venue for the conference and the accommodation is Hotel Aferni, Avenue General Kettani, Agadir, Morocco (tel. +212 48 84 07 30)

The programme includes presentations by over 25 speakers, drawn from every continent in the world.
A particular feature of FEL conferences is that there are no concurrent sessions, so that a common spirit is built up among all the participants. As a result, our conferences usually develop into rather touching occasions.

Thursday 20/9
Arrival & Registration Welcome dinner

Friday 21/9
Opening Session, Setting the Scene, including Keynote Address: Power of the media for the good of small languages: an Indian experience of enriching diversity
Lachman Kubchandani, Centre for Communication Studies, Pune, India
Session Two: How the State Caters for Language Minorities
Session Three: Self-help: Grass-roots solutions for small languages

Saturday 22/9
Session Four: New Media: a place for small languages in Cyberspace
Open Forum: short presentations by other attendees
Foundation for Endangered Languages - Annual General Meeting
Video session: presented by attendees

Sunday 23/9
Session Five: Cementing the Community: Media as Carriers of Minority Traditions
Session Six: Language in the Ether: Across Political Boundaries
Closing session

The language of the conference will be English, but presentations and questions in French will be accepted. For other translation/interpretation requirements, please consult the Conference Chairman, Hassan Ouzzate <>.

In additional to the scheduled programme, the Foundation will be running an art exhibition and a book display; publishers are supplying books for sale.

A great variety of local excursions are available, and can be booked on arrival at hotel desk. Specifically, in the period September 24-27, a programme of visits centering on Marrakech (a medieval walled city with an astonishing blend of old and new, and its surrounding wild High Atlas mountains, citadel of the Amazigh-speaking Berbers, may be organized for FEL members, travelling in hired mini-bus or cars. The extra cost for the 3 days (all inclusive) would be in the region of US $200 per person.

Options for access to Agadir from Morocco's airports:

By order of priority:

1 - Agadir-Massira Airport:
About 40 kms from Agadir; best means of transfer to town : blue taxi, costs 200 Dhs (roughly $1=11 Dh; £1=16 Dh) whether single or shared. No booking; coming out of airport, hail next in the line. Just give hotel name to driver and sit back. Drive takes about 30 mns. Most planes, apart from charters, arrive in the evening; the latest from many European destinations via Casablanca arrives around 11 pm.

2 - Marrakech-Menara Airport
About 250 kms from Agadir. Best means of transfer to Agadir, or at any rate, the least complicated: cream or blue Taxi. Cost : 400 - 500 Dhs (roughly $1=11 Dh; £1=16 Dh) whether single or shared. No booking; coming out of airport, hail next in the line. Drive takes about 4 hrs over the Atlas range.

3 - Casablanca Airport.
Over 500 kms away from Agadir -: air transit to Agadir is in practice necessary.


We request booking by 5 AUGUST 2001, to guarantee accommodation under the low-cost conditions that we have negotiated. If you wish to arrange your own accommodation, please indicate this when registering, but please note that your advance REGISTRATION FEE IS NON-REFUNDABLE.

Booking options & conditions:

Our venue, Hotel Aferni, is a 3-star hotel with swimming pool, central location, with meeting and dining facilities. Bookings to attend the conference, including accommodation at this hotel, can be made through FEL; the negotiated price per person per night is US $33 in single or US $23 in double room. The total amount for the duration of the conference is therefore $99 in single room and $69 in double room of which $90 or $60 is to be paid directly to the hotel in Agadir, and $9 flat fee is included in the $50 paid up for registration. If you wish to arrange for accommodation yourself, please feel free to do so. But the advance registration fee remains $50 ($37.50 for concessions) - respectively UK 36 or 27 pounds.). Should you wish to stay on under the negotiated conditions after the conference, please book at reception desk as soon as possible during the conference.

The accommodation package includes:
Half-board (breakfast + lunch or dinner)
Breakfast: tea/coffee, bakeries, jam, butter, orange juice, egg (extras available).
Lunch: three courses
Drinks with meal: soft drinks/water
Tea / coffee breaks + pastries

Registration entitles you to attend the conference, to receive a copy of its published Proceedings. Unless you attend as a journalist, you will need to be a current member of the Foundation when you attend the conference. Facilities for joining will be provided at the registration desk, or you can add $30 (concessions $20) to your registration for Virtual Membership in the current year. (These correspond to sterling payments of 20 or 12.50 pounds.) Otherwise see the FEL web page at for various membership options. Membership is free for citizens of countries with non-convertible currencies.

Journalists are entitled to a 25% discount on the REGISTRATION FEE only. Full-time students and those receiving unemployment benefits are also entitled to the same discount, which brings their registration fee to $37.50 instead of the full $50.

Fifth FEL Conference, Endangered Languages and the Media:
Agadir, Morocco 20-23 September 2001


Address for correspondence:

Telephone number:
Facsimile number:

If you are not attending as a speaker, would you wish to participate in the Open Forum? YES / NO
If YES, what would be the title of your presentation and would you require video or other equipment?


Hotel accommodation required: YES / NO
If YES, type of package : SINGLE ROOM / DOUBLE ROOM.
Foundation Membership added: YES / NO

Total enclosed:
[ ] Standard: $50 (36 pounds sterling)
[ ] Standard + Virtual Membership: $80 (46 pounds sterling)
[ ] Concession: $37.50 (27 pounds sterling)
[ ] Concession + Virtual membership: $57.50 (39.50 pounds sterling)

Payment Details

Please return this form to me Christopher Moseley, Treasurer, Foundation for Endangered Languages by 5 AUGUST 2001 along with proof of payment of your deposit to cover your registration for the conference. This includes a flat deposit of $9 on your room.

Payment options:

Credit cards (NOT American Express please) : details of

number ...................................................

owner's name..............................................

expiry date...............................................

Bank transfer to the FEL bank account:
Account number 50073456, sorting code 08-90-02
16 St Stephen's Street, Bristol BS1 1JR, England

Cheque, in UK sterling (@ £1 = $1.40) made out to "Foundation for Endangered Languages" or (if drawn on a US bank) in US dollars made out to "Nicholas Ostler", sent to:

FEL Conference Treasurer, Christopher Moseley,
2 Wanbourne Lane, Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, England RG9 5AH, facsimile (+44 (or 0) 1491-641922), e-mail

If you do make a direct bank transfer, don't forget to notify Christopher Moseley at the above contact address that you are doing so when registering.

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Last updated: July 19, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0