A final master class by Jan Blommaert

The documentary Woord X Macht X Strijd (‘Word X Power X Fight) will premiere on Tuesday, November 16 via livestream. A film in which Jan Blommaert is followed in the last months of his life and shares his expertise one last time.

Jan Blommaert in his home in Antwerp. Image: Mariska van Schijndel

Jan Blommaert was professor of language, culture, and globalization at Tilburg University. Earlier this year he passed away. The documentary was made by his former student and colleague Ico Maly and filmmaker Pieter de Vos. It is a master class on language and inequality, against the background of Blommaert’s life and work.

Language and education were central to Blommaert, as the basis of society but also as a weapon to denounce and dismantle injustice. “If you do not think about material resources and how they are unequally distributed in your society, you have missed the point.” According to Blommaert.

Last November, Univers interviewed Blommaert following his opinion piece, ‘What was really important in my academic life?’ In the interview, Blommaert looks back. ”I know I have done a lot. What is unfinished is unfinished. I also have – if I may say so about myself – a very small ego. I do not have the feeling that I must absolutely leave something behind.”

The documentary Woord X Macht X Strijd can be watched live on November 16 at 20:00 and is subtitled in English.

Translated by Language Center, Riet Bettonviel

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