9 Apr 2022 15:00 - 16:30 Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT


In this lecture and performance, writer Kübra Gümüşay will share insights on how language shapes the way we think, perceive the world and the political as well as cultural implications. She will be accompanied by musicians to both intellectually but also artistically stimulate the audience to change their perspective and approach to how we see this world, talk to and about one another

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, Kübra Gümüşay 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.

Kübra Gümüşay is currently a Mercator Senior Fellow at CRASSH and LCFI, University of Cambridge. Her book ‘Sprache und Sein’ was first published in German in 2020 and instantly became a bestseller. ‘Speaking and Being’ will be published in May at Profile Books.

Books will be on sale at the event for £10, cash only.

Accompanying Musicians

  • Peter McMurray, Associate Professor in Ethnomusicology, saxophonist, and media artist.
  • Fatima Lahham, musician, writer, researcher, and educator
  • Saman Samadi, composer, improviser, and artist-researcher
  • Lea Luka Tiziana Sikau, artist-researcher working in the intersection of arts, posthumanism and technology

For queries please email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk.

This event is part of the Cambridge Festival 2022.

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