Rising Voices (RV): Please tell us about yourself.
Irma Alvarez Ccoscco (IAC): I am from Haquira, in the Apurímac region in Peru. I am a Quechua poet, and I use the lyrics and my voice to express my language, and my life. My approach to activism has focused on localization (L10) of my native language in software. The project involves the systematization of the language in software, and team work with programmers.
I am interested in promoting the language (L1) in teaching writing and teaching it to native speakers. Likewise, I use poems in public spaces to express the sonority of the language in its multiple uses.
RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?
IAC: There are individual and collective movements for strengthening the language, either from the academia, civic initiatives or the government; but they still need to be better articulated.
On the other hand, the internet is a limitless space where I think the language can be freely expressed, and thus there are more and more resources. There are many initiatives for teaching and learning in social media. There are different approaches for the Quechua variants. By providing readings by linguists and speakers, and by sharing support materials, the internet represents a medium for strengthening the language. But the internet is limited in terms of access and cost. The monopolization of data and the high cost make access a privilege for many.
RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @ActLenguas Twitter account?
IAC: I plan to focus on software projects involving Quechua: Quechua voices in the networks and poetry.
RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language?
IAC: I would like to have the freedom of expression in any domain, context, country, in my native language. To create a society with linguistic democracy.
RV: What do you hope for your language?
IAC: I hope to see the strengthening of programs, teaching and dissemination of native languages already established as State policy.