Speaking and Being

Speaking and Being

How Language Binds and Frees Us

Kübra Gümüsay


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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 Gümüsay 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 Gümüsay:
Kübra Gümüsay is one of the most influential intellectuals and activists in Germany. Her work focuses on social justice and public discourse, and she is the founder of several award-winning campaigns against racism and sexualised violence. She is a writer, and regularly appears on TV and radio. After many years in Oxford, she now lives in Hamburg.