Speaking and Being
Kubra Gumusay, Gesche Ipsen
Language opens up our world, and in the same instant, limits it. What does it mean to exist in a language that was never meant for you to speak? Why are we missing certain words? How can we talk about our communal problems without fuelling them? What does it actually mean to speak freely?
As a writer and activist fighting for equality, Kubra Gumusay has been thinking about these questions for many years. In this book she explores how language shapes our thinking and determines our politics. She shows how people become invisible as individuals when they are always seen as part of a group, and the way those in the minority often have to expend energy cleaning up the messy thinking of others. But she also points to how we might shape conversations to allow for greater ambiguity and individuality, how arguments might happen in a space of learning and vulnerability without sacrificing principles – how we might all be able to speak freely.
An act of liberation - and a clever essay of literary quality and political strength. * NZZ am Sonntag * Precise, clever and extremely readable ... an important, thought-provoking commentary. Gumusay's passionate plea for a new, free language and a new, free way of thinking questions the status quo. * Aachener Nachrichten * A polemical plea for a new use of language in public discourse. A polemic, however, that counteracts the battle cries with a personal tone and an inviting gesture to start a dialogue. * Deutschlandfunk * A reckoning with our linguistic habits * Zeit *
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