Talking Brains: the dream that woke

Everything has a life, even dreams. They are born, naively, and they start to grow up, to get fatter and taller, so very tall, until they lose their innocence and they wake up. On that day they leave the could behind and become. Let’s not be too naive ourselves. When there’s a will, there isn’t always a way. We know too well that some dreams are left along the path. They grow tired, they snuggle up, and it is very difficult for them to wake up.

The Talking Brains exhibition is one of the dreams who did not get tired, that went all the way to the end, to its death as a dream and its birth to the real world. We who have been rooting for it during all this time, feeding it, protecting it, cannot help but looking at it once and again. Even the toughest among us soften and we hug each other thinking “we made it! Talking Brains made it!”.

Talking Brains woke up to show us something essential about ourselves: human language from the point of view of the brain in which it lives. It does it in a funny way, yet has a transcendence to it. This faculty that all humans share defines us, identifies us and, in turn, allows us to define the world around us.

The authors of Talking Brains are, all of us, linguists used to swallow a sigh every time linguistics is misunderstood or simply ignored. We feel like Neil Amstrong planting the exhibition no less than in the science museum of Barcelona, CosmoCaixa. I hope, dear colleagues, that this contribution is a step to make our task more visible. Big or small, time will tell.