Author Feridun Zaimoğlu first found literary success in 1995 with his book Kanak Sprak. 28 years later, this work remains as relevant as ever in the discourse around immigration. In the book, the German writer of Turkish origin gives voice to 24 male figures often portrayed by society as losers, victims, childishly immature or primitive: “The Kanaken are given the blame for customs and rites. Seen from outside, they only appear as a shapeless mass of delinquents that one presumes to know by their external appearance and ‘special characteristics’.”
In her new novel Zaman Durdukça (As Long as Time Stands Still), Turkish, Berlin-based curator and author Burcu Argat tells the story of a Turkish woman, Leyla, who flees a harem to 1920s Berlin. Her escape is described as an act of liberation – until the transfer of power to the National Socialists and Leyla’s consequent return to Istanbul. Through her protagonist, Argat examines a woman’s search for freedom: her fights for survival and reasons for giving up her homeland to emigrate.
At BERLIN GLOBAL, Feridun Zaimoğlu and Burcu Argat will present passages from their books and discuss the themes of their work with moderator Idil Efe. They will talk about how to navigate social codes predominantly associated with men and women read as migrant.
Moderation: Idil Efe
The reading is part of the Open Space “30 kg”. In this project, led by Burcu Argat and Izim Turan, seven women who immigrated from Turkey share their thoughts on migration and (gender) identity in the exhibition BERLIN GLOBAL. They talk about codes and objects once taken for granted in Turkey that are now sorely missed, or which have lost their significance in a liberating way. The Open Space can be seen in the BERLIN GLOBAL exhibition until 30 October 2023.