Through the lens of phonetic, semantic, and theological slippage, Transliterative Tease explores the potential for transliteration – the conversion of scripts – as a strategy equally of resistance and research into notions such as identity politics, colonialism, and faith. The lecture-performance focuses on the Turkic languages of the former Soviet Union, as well as the eastern and western frontiers of the Turkic sphere, namely Anatolia and Xinjiang/Uighuristan. Lenin believed that the revolution of the east begins with the Latinization of the alphabets of all Muslim subjects of the USSR. The march of alphabets has always accompanied that of empires – Arabic with the rise of Islam, Latin with that of Roman Catholicism, and Cyrillic with the Orthodox Church and subsequently communism. This lecture-performance attempts not to emancipate peoples or nations but rather the sounds rolling off our tongues.
Slavs and Tatars is an internationally renowned art collective devoted to an area East of the former Berlin Wall and West of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. Since its inception in 2006, the collective has shown a keen grasp of polemical issues in society, clearing new paths for contemporary discourse via a wholly idiosyncratic form of knowledge production: including popular culture, spiritual and esoteric traditions, oral histories, modern myths, as well as scholarly research. Their work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institution across the globe, including the Vienna Secession; MoMA, New York; Salt, Istanbul; Albertinum Dresden, et al. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications, and lecture-performances. The collective has published more than twelve books to date, including most recently Лук Бук (Look Book) with Distanz Verlag. In 2018, the collective launched a residency and mentorship program for young professionals from the region. In 2020, Slavs and Tatars opened Pickle Bar, a slavic aperitivo bar-cum-project space a few doors down from their studio in the Moabit district of Berlin.
The lecture will be held in English language.