The group exhibition “ğ – the soft g” at Schwules Museum* brings together works that follow artistic migration in various directions and explore the transcultural exchange of LGBTIQ* people between Turkey and Germany, Berlin and Istanbul for the first time in Germany. 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.
Mit Arbeiten von: 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-
Curated by Emre Busse and Aykan Safoğlu.
Exhibition Design: Philip Wiegard
„ğ – das weiche g“ is supported by the Regierender Bürgermeister von Berlin – Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
March 5, 2017 - Reading: FRIDA! with Gülây Akın - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in German)
Gülây Akın will read from her script FRIDA!.
March 19, 2017 - Reading: ‘Emine’ Sevgi Özdamar - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in German)
‘Emine’ Sevgi Özdamar will read from her novel Strange Stars Turn to Earth (2003).
March 26, 2017 - Artist Talk: Hasan Aksaygın & Yener Bayramoğlu - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in English)
Yener Bayramoğlu will lead a conversation with the artist Hasan Aksaygın on queerness, migration and artistic practice in Berlin.
CANCELLED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS - April 2, 2017 - Talk: The wrong side of the Bosporus with Salih Wolter & Aykan Safoğlu - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in German)
Queer and (queer-) migrant conviviality once and today.
April 16, 2017 - Talk: Lubunca* with Demet Demir - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in Turkish with German Translation)
Demet Demir will talk about her lexicon project Lubunca*, her own activism and the trans* movement in Turkey.
April 23, 2017 - Artist Talk: Elmgreen & Dragset - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in English)
Artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset will be in conversation with Aykan Safoğlu about the Istanbul Biennial and beyond.
April 30, 2017 - Workshop/Reading: Fucking Germany - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in German)
Queer migrant community members of Berlin will lead a reading workshop from Cem Yıldız’s book Fucking Germany – Das letze Tabu oder mein Leben als Escort (Westend Verlag, 2003). Limited attendance, sign up required.
May 7, 2017 - Artist Talk: Ming Wong & Aykan Safoğlu - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in English)
Participant artists of ğ - soft g - queer forms migrate Ming Wong and Aykan Safoğlu will be discussing their artistic practices and collaborations.
May 14, 2017 - A presentation on porn: Emre Busse - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (18+) (in English)
Emre Busse will make a presentation on German porn productions that were produced in Turkey.
May 25, 2017 - Workshop: Hair Salon with Sabuha Salaam - 4pm - Schwules Museum* (in German)
Your hair will feel the soft and queer touch of Sabuha Salaam.
May 26, 2017 - Mama ğ - A talk with queer artist Aykan Safoğlu and his Mother Nevin Safoğlu - 17:00 - Schwules Museum* (in Turkish, translated into German)
May 28, 2017 - Mobile Kino presents: Film program with Maria Binder and Ebru Kırancı - 9:30pm - Urban Spree (Revaler Str. 99, 10245 Berlin)
Trans X Istanbul (Turkish with English subtitles) will meet their Berlin audience in an open air screening that will be followed by a panel discussion. (in Turkish and German)
May 29, 2017 – Closing Event - Artist Talk: Erinç Seymen - 6pm - Schwules Museum* (in English)
Participating artist Erinç Seymen will hold a talk focusing on his artistic practices.