participatory language project in collaboration with Oda Projesi (Istanbul)

part of the festival „Beyond Belonging“ at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, 2009 -ongoing

Tongue is a project about language. Over two months, the Istanbul artist collective Oda Projesi and I held a workshop in Berlin Kreuzberg, and invited neighbours and local residents to teach us and each other their daily language. The roles of teachers and students switched at any time through the period of teaching and learning from the participants’ hybrid languages. The focal space of the project was Berlin Kreuzberg, an area that we defined as a “speech bubble”. This “bubble” form can be considered as a meeting point of diverse languages. Instead of taking as a starting point the cliché of a “Tower of Babel” – a place where all languages exists, only separately – Tongue goes beyond this and asks: How can one try to create a new language by taking the daily language of individuals, rather than the language of groups, as a starting point? More than 20 people decided to teach their daily language and seven classes were held every week. 


The material produced was published in a TONGUE book, a language self learning book. The project continues through a word library which travels around Europe.



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Partner organisations:

-Ballhaus Naunynstrasse (Berlin):

-Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Istanbul Off Spaces:

-Kunstverein Wolfsburg:

->rotor< Graz:

-Le Grand Cafe, Saint Nazaire:

-Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst Berlin (NGBK):