Pictures at an Exhibition

‘ğ – soft g – queer forms migrate’ at Schwules Museum, Berlin

Installation view of "ğ - soft g - queer forms migrate," 2017, at Schwules Museum, Berlin. SVEN GUTJAHR

Installation view of “ğ – soft g – queer forms migrate,” 2017, at Schwules Museum, Berlin.


Pictures at an Exhibition presents images of one notable show every weekday.

Today’s show: “ğ – soft g – queer forms migrate” is on view at the Schwules Museum in Berlin through Monday, May 29. The group exhibition, curated by Emre Busse and Aykan Safoğlu, looks at “the transcultural exchange of LGBTIQ+ people between Turkey and Germany; Istanbul and Berlin,” according to the press release. The exhibition includes work by Yeşim Akdeniz, Mehtap Baydu, Taner Ceylan, Aykan Safoğlu, Erinç Seymen, and Ming Wong, among others.

A brief history of the letter ğ from the press release:

ğ is a Turkish letter and its birth moment in 1928 marks the adoption of the Latin alphabet through the state sanctioned Turkish language reforms. Correctional linguists, working to modernize and westernize the Turkish language predicted the loss of the Arabic letter غ(ghayn), which had no equivalent in the Latin alphabet but was commonly used in the Ottoman Turkish language. They came up with an unprecedented hybrid form: ğ. This letter serves no other purpose than to lengthen the preceding vowel; it cannot be the initial letter of a word and it is never capitalized. Therefore, it is the queerest of the Turkish alphabet. ğ is an oriental sound-letter that migrated to a western body of sorts and consequently we sense in it a curious early twentieth century story of a transitioning body.

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