La Chambra d’oc is a cultural association that works in the field of promotion and enhancement of the less widely used languages in the world.
In particular, it operates in Italy, in the Piedmont region, for the protection of the Occitan and Franco-Provençal languages, implementing Law 482/99 “norms to protect historical linguistic minorities”.
The Occitan language is the ancient Lingua d’oc, which has seen its greatest splendor in the twelfth century through the poetry of the troubadours, widespread in all the courts of Europe. Through the key words of the troubadours (words like the word “convivencia” or “the art of living together in harmony”) the foundations of European culture and ethical values have been laid. This language is today widespread in three states: France, Spain and Italy.
The Chambra d’oc association operates in the field of language promotion through international projects such as the “Ostana Prize, Writings in Mothers Languages”, the creation of the documentary film “Bogre – traveling on the trail of Catari and Bogomili”, territorial projects of network such as “Chantar l’uvern”, publishing in language, training of operators and linguistic desks.
The main objectives are the protection, promotion and enhancement of the Occitan language and culture in Italy.
The awareness of the importance attributed to linguistic-cultural diversity in international strategies has led the small community of Ostana, a small municipality in the Alps, to try to make a contribution for the recovery and revival of its native language and to implement an occasion where the language can be practiced whereby the entire linguistic heritage can return to being the centre not only of the attention and of cultural research, but of the entire community’s life as well. nThat is why since 2008 the municipality of Ostana has been promoting an event, the “Ostana Prize: Writings in Mothers Languages”, aimed at supporting and letting others know about the native languages of the world and not just its own. A commitment that arose from the history of the city and from its administration, starting from the request and then the application of the national law that protects the minority languages in Italy.
The “Ostana Prize: Writings in Mothers Languages” is in fact a celebration of the cultural biodiversity of humanity. The common goal is to listen to the sound of indigenous uncommon languages that nevertheless want to live, and through them discover the past and present stories of the peoples who speak them. The native languages represented at the Premio Ostana have the common characteristic of being unfortunately relegated to a condition of unequal opportunities compared to the dominant language of their reference states, and for this reason each of them incarnates a specificity and biodiversity to defend, preserve, protect and describe.
While it is true that each linguistic-cultural area has its own specifics, it is equally true that problems and difficulties are often common, and strategies and plans can be common to deal with.
Born with the desire to know and make known writers, filmmakers, musicians from different parts of the planet, it has become a formidable opportunity to meet and exchange experiences for dozens of authors who in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and in Oceania illustrate and make the language of their community alive with their creative work.
In Ostana, 33 mother tongues have alternated over the course of 10 years, in each edition there has been the presence of an indigenous language.
The guest languages were the following: Friulian, Slovene, Cimbra, Sudtirol, Armenian, Sardinian, Tibetan, Tutunakú, Rromani, Galician, Maori, Basque, Saami, Kurdish, Cheyenne, Corsican, Hebrew, Catalan, Maltese, Yoruba, Shuar, Frisian, Grika, Huave, Breton, Romancia, Innu, Mazzateco, Nynorsk, Amazigh-kabyla, Kurdish, Gaelic, Occitan.