This Berlin queer migrant state of mind is illustrated by Emre Busse and Aykan Safoğlu by the Turkish letter ğ, or “the soft g” in English. Busse and Safoğlu are from Istanbul, both interested in queer migration, marginalized sexual identities and body politics in their artistic and curatorial practices.
The letter ğ was added to the Turkish alphabet in 1928 when the Latin alphabet was adapted through the Turkish language reforms. ğ stands in for the Arabic letter ghayn, which has no equivalent in the Latin alphabet, but was commonly used in the Ottoman language. The only purpose of this unprecedented hybrid form is to lengthen the preceding vowel. Therefore, it cannot be the initial letter of a word and is never capitalized. “ğ is an oriental sound-letter that migrated to a western body of sorts,” the curators state.
What if ğ left Turkey to migrate to Germany? What if it seeped through to the German alphabet, escaping from the suitcase of a guest worker from Turkey, one of hundreds of thousands of laborers who came under the 1961 recruitment agreement? ğ is an oddity in Germany for most people, hence it is a letter that is most often mispronounced. The curators of the exhibition sensed a queer possibility in ğ and they seek to focus on its past, or possibly ongoing migration between Germany and Turkey. After all, every time Turkish names are mispronounced in Germany, it is a reminder of the therapeutic beauty of resistance. “ğ – the soft g” at Schwules Museum* is the first artistic attempt to celebrate this potential.
“ğ – the soft g” will be accompanied by an extensive programme of events including lectures, conversations and readings as well as performances, workshops and film screenings with Demet Demir, Gülay Akın, Ebru Kırancı, Elmgreen&Dragset, ‘Emine’ Sevgi Özdamar, Maria Binder, Sabuha Salaam, Salih Wolter, and Yener Bayramoğlu.
With works by: Aykan Safoğlu, Ayşe Erkmen, Cihangir Gümüştürkmen, Erinç Seymen, Hasan Aksaygın, Masist Gül präsentiert von Banu Cennetoğlu und Philippine Hoegen, Mehtap Baydu, Ming Wong, Nilbar Güreş, Taner Ceylan, Viron Erol Vert, Yeşim Akdeniz-