100 Creatives

100 Creatives 2014: John Pluecker, Writer, Poet and Language Justice Worker

We admit that before talking to John Pluecker, co-founder of language experimentation collaborative Antena, we hadn't heard of language justice. Sure, we heard about gender-neutral language (waitstaff vs waitress), but that's not what writer, poet and translator Pluecker means.

"What [Antena's] really talking about is the right that people have to use the language that they wish," Pluecker tells us. "We look at how to create spaces that are multilingual where people can speak across languages barriers and spaces where people can use the language in which they feel most comfortable."

Antena has been in residence at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston since January. Collaborating with Latin America and U.S. writers that were working visually and artists that were working with language, Antena has helped launch a number of initiatives during its residency including an exhibition of work combining literary and visual arts, readings and performances, DIY projects throughout the U.S. and Latin America, the weekly class "In The Between: At the Intersections of Writing, Art, Politics" as well as workshops in writing, bookmaking, translation and language justice.

"In the past, my work as an artist has been different, separate from my work as a translator. With Antena it's been about creating a space for my work as an artist to overlap with my work as an interpreter and translator." This story continues on the next page.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez