27-29th May 2024
How can we realise real utopias? How can we succeed not only in analysing reality, but also in acting with a view to the future? The writer and political activist Kübra Gümüşay, born in Hamburg in 1988, is concerned with these questions. In 2022/3, she is a Senior Fellow of the Mercator Foundation and is investigating the question of the conditions under which the creation of a more just society is possible at the Centre for Research in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH), the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and as a Visiting Fellow at Jesus College at the University of Cambridge.
Kübra studied political science in Hamburg and at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. She was a columnist for the taz and appeared on the re:publica stage several times: In 2016, she advocated for love to be louder on the net in her talk "Organisierte Liebe" (organised love) – because silence is consent in the face of noisy hate. Since then, she has regularly returned to re:publica – including in 2017, 2018 and 2020. Kübra is also the initiator of numerous award-winning campaigns and organisations, including the feminist co-creation space eeden in Hamburg, the feminist research and advocacy organisation future_s or the alliance #ausnahmslos, which was awarded the Clara Zetkin Women's Prize in 2016. Her blog ein-fremdwoerterbuch.com was nominated for the Grimme Online Award in 2011. In 2018, Forbes magazine ranked her among the top 30 under 30 in Europe.
Kübra Gümüşay's first book immediately became a bestseller: In "Speaking and Being" she explores the question of how language shapes our thinking and determines our politics. It is about the search for spaces in which the most pressing problems and challenges of our time can be discussed in a constructive and forward-looking way. In doing so, Kübra follows the longing for a language that does not reduce people to categories. For a way of speaking that allows them to exist in their many facets. For truly communal thinking in a polarising world. It shows how people become invisible as individuals when they are always seen as part of a group – and are only allowed to express themselves as such. But how can people really speak as people? And how can we all – in a time of increasingly harsh, hateful discourse – communicate with each other differently? In the face of current crises, the lack of spaces for public constructive thinking with room for hesitation and doubt is making itself felt. What is needed for these spaces? What might a constructive discourse culture look like that does not shy away from polarised negotiated issues but manages to discuss them in a forward-looking way? What do we need for the public discourse culture in order to include the multifaceted richness of many perspectives and to make it inclusive and accessible?
Almost an anniversary: Kübra Gümüşay first appeared on the re:publica stage in 2014 with a talk on journalists as gatekeepers and the change in agenda setting on the net. At #rp23, Kübra will give us an insight into her current research. We are looking forward to her talk on alternative futures and real utopias.