the launch of gudrungudrun.fo
June 18, 2018
It is in our item description where we love to play with language and word play where the faroese language has succeded in describing our items in a light, playful and rich way.
»Far out in an ocean that gleams and glitters like quicksilver may be found a small leaden-coloured land. In proportion to the immense ocean the size of the tiny mountainous land is like a grain of sand to a ballroom floor. But viewed through a magnifying glass this grain of sand is an entire world, with mountains and valleys, inlets and fjords, and houses with tiny human beings.«
These are the famous first words of the novel, The Lost Musicians, by the Faroese author, William Heinesen. Often pulled out and used for occasions, when special words are needed to describe something special.
We’re currently living in a world that’s both globalised and digitalised. Digitalisation has resulted in diminishing distances, in boundaries and walls being torn down and us as people floating together into a common digital people that can reach one another within seconds.
The world - increasingly better connected - hungers for something special. Something that’s connected to its own. This is among the things that Guðrun og Guðrun represent. The designer half of the duo, Guðrun Ludvig, has often been quoted to emphasise the importance of going abroad, of seeking inspiration and examining trends. But most important is to come back home, bring the inspiration and braid it together with the Faroese heritage.
When the internet, and the brave new world it brought along, arrived, people were optimistic. Distances had never been shorter, people would be closer, differences would disappear, and opportunities to meet and communicate on equal terms would improve.
That was, at least, the plan.
As it always goes, the winner takes it all. In terms of the internet one can argue, that at least for the western countries, it’s probably the English-speaking who - once again - are the winners. Yes, the internet does connect us and bring us closer, but now that we’re so connected, how do we communicate? You guessed it - in English.
But even if digitalisation has given English the opportunity to be amplified and strengthened, the small leaden-coloured land still exists. Often a bit neglected, often forgotten when you look at the big world picture. But even though it’s not always so visible, it’s still there.
As the digital revolution throws its (inter)nets, it can create fertile ground for a growing trend to think in efficiency and practicalities. It can be easy to think that everything would be better if we spoke the same language. What is actually the point of preserving a tiny language? What purpose does it serve, when looking at the bigger picture? The answer to this, is not as clear to everyone.
Guðrun og Guðrun, have travelled the world and thrown their nets. As bait the company uses its origin: Legends of heroes and trolls, fishermen and mythological creatures. Images of mountains swept in fog. As tools they use knitting needles and wool; the driving force is a wide-spanning urge to create. The result is Faroese design of international standards.
Guðrun og Guðrun’s products are clothes. Tangible objects. What does the Faroese written and spoken language have to do with Guðrun og Guðrun’s jumpers and knits? Although it might not seem obvious, the Faroese language has great importance to the company's foundation.
If we go back to the aforementioned thoughts about efficiency, a quick stroke of a pen could wipe out the Faroese language and turn it into an ancient language, forgotten by the world. To the world’s bottom line, a language spoken by 50,000 people seems of little worth. Why can’t they just speak English?
But the bottom line for Guðrun og Guðrun speak its clear (Faroese) language. The question is, how would this look if we spoke English in the Faroe Islands? or Danish? We might not always think about how the Faroese products we produce and sell came to be - but how would they look if we didn’t speak Faroese? What are we - as people, and as businesses - without Faroese?
Guðrun og Guðrun have proven that our language and culture is the foundation that, not only our society is built on, but their business, too. Culture and language is what we lean on, and what make us one of a kind - what makes us Faroese.
Today Guðrun og Guðrun launch their new online store in Faroese. The Faroese language has great importance to Guðrun og Guðrun, and therefore the Faroese customers should have the opportunity to experience the online store in their own language. To browse and search - either with a purpose or just for fun - for exactly what you wish for - in Faroese.
The digital revolution is sneaky and unlimited. It also finds the tiniest grains of sand in the ballroom. It invades and meddles with the way we live and - especially - how we speak. The digital revolution was supposed to give us better opportunity to have a say, to become more visible and equal. But if we’re not cautious, if we don’t ask questions and demand that our language gets a seat at the table in this brave new world, then it can easily be swept aside and thrown away in the ballroom jumble.
The goal must be be to keep fighting for our language’s place in the world. To do this, we can look at how Guðrun og Guðrun do it. The world changes, we change too, and the language naturally changes as well. Changing trends and zeitgeists will demand new terms to be created and therefore it’s necessary to follow the trends. Find inspiration, examine the trends - and then go back home and continue to create and develop our language, on our conditions.
Guðrun í Jákupsstovu