Competition for Visual Representations of Multilingualism (2018–2019)

A BAAL Competition for Visual Representations of Multilingualism opened in October 2018.

This competition aims to provide a creative opportunity to explore new ways of representing multilingualism through visual means and to stimulate debate and raise awareness about innovative ways of thinking about multilingualism. It is part of BAAL’s initiative of increasing multilingual representation in BAAL and beyond. It is organised in partnership with CuratorSpace, Multilingual Matters, and the AILA Research Network for Creative Inquiry and Applied Linguistics.

To Apply

The competition is open to artists, designers and/or applied linguists working in a range of 2D practices, including, but not limited to: drawing, painting, illustration, graphic design, collage, digital, photography, etc. Sculptural/relief works presented in a 2D format will also be accepted.

Collaborations between artists and applied linguists, and submissions from students of all levels are particularly welcome.

Submissions can be of new or existing works, however artwork should have been made within 2 years of the submission date.

To apply, please complete the application form available here with a good quality image of the finished work along with title, medium, size, year and a statement (250 words max) about how the work responds to the theme. Please also include a brief artist bio (250 words max). Statements and bios will be used to promote the winning works.

Applicants can make up to 2 submissions and separate forms should be used for each submission.


Please submit works by Friday 29 March 2019, 11:59pm GMT

Winners will be chosen and all applicants will be notified of the outcome by early June 2019.


Prizes will be awarded to three winners at the BAAL conference at Manchester on 29-31, August, 2019.

First prize: £400
Second prize: £200
Third prize: £100

A number of works by selected applicants may also be included alongside the prize winners in an exhibition at the BAAL conference 2019.

Works will be promoted through the BAAL website and may also be used to promote visual and creative approaches to multilingualism within the research community. Elements of the winning work may also be incorporated into the BAAL logo upon further discussion with the applicant(s). All applicants retain copyright of their work.

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Close engagement with the theme, i.e. creative ways of representing multilingualism
  • Effective communication: clear and compelling in communicating dynamic multilingualism to the public
  • High quality digital image (300 dpi)

Judging Panel

  • Professor Zhu Hua (BAAL Executive Committee  / Birkbeck College, University of London)
  • Professor Bernadette M A O’Rourke (BAAL Executive Committee  / Heriot-Watt University)
  • Professor Abigail Harrison Moore (School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds)
  • Jessica Bradley (AILA ReN Creative Inquiry and Applied Linguistics  / Leeds Trinity University)
  • Dr Louise Atkinson (Visual artist and researcher / CuratorSpace / Yorkshire Visual Arts Network)

Contact for further queries

The competition submission will be managed via Curatorspace

For further information about submission, please get in touch using the Contact curator form at the top of the page.

Links to organisers and partnerships

Links to resources

Tong-king Lee (2015). Translanguaging and Visuality: Translingual Practices in Literary Art. Applied Linguistics Review, 6(4), 441-465:

Zhu Hua (on behalf of BAAL Executive Committee)

British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)

BAAL is a professional association, based in the UK, which provides a forum for people interested in language and applied linguistics. We have an international professional membership of around 1000 members. 

To read more about what applied linguistics is and does, click here.