Potential Wor(l)ds is our first collaborative project, drawing on shared interests in feminist science fiction, embodied processes of making, and different ways of worldbuilding. Inspired by the feminist constructed language Láadan, our project explores the possibility of moving from more traditional modes of communication (using a dominant language like English) to a more experimental, collaborative modes of expression.

The project developed during our residency at Bergen Kunsthall in August 2018, as part of Who’s Doing the Washing Up?––a series of live commissions exploring feminist organisational practices and modes of communication.  Beginning with an experimental workshop, and continuing with a series of informal follow-up sessions, our time in Bergen was spent working with the textual, visual and sonic materials produced by the participants to create an online dictionary.  We are thinking of this dictionary of ‘potential words’ as both an archive and an active working document that is shared online as a resource for the public as well as for our own future collaborative work.

This project would not have been possible without Eva Rowson, curator at Landmark. A very special thanks for introducing us to each other and inviting us to work together at Bergen Kunsthall. We would also like to thank everyone who participated so generously in our workshops and helped us shape this first iteration of Potential Wor(l)ds. Thanks to the staff at Bergen Kunsthall and Landmark who made our residency so enjoyable, especially Axel Wieder, Jonas Skarmark, Nikolaj Stavnstrup Rasmussen, Sofia Marie Hamnes and Thea Haug for their help and support. Thanks to Hannah Gillow-Kloster at The Norweigan Queer Archive for making time to show us the collection.  Thanks to Randi Heggernes Eilertsen, Thor Brødreskift and Xin Li for their help documenting the project. 

For more information about the project, email us at potentialworlds@gmail.com or follow us on Instagram @there_ought_to_be_a_word.


Potential Wor(l)ds is a collaboration between Aliyah Hussain and Anna Bunting-Branch, originally commissioned by Bergen Kunsthall.  The project is supported by Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. © Aliyah Hussain, Anna Bunting-Branch and Bergen Kunsthall, 2018.