“Q” by Ceylan Öztrük
"Plant had overgrown half the room in the past year. Quibilah remembered when Plant arrived. O was brought in on a round, white platter, os fingers tied in a bundle with a red thread. Plant fed on Qui’s sadness. The more o grieved and shed tears, the more Plant thrived, grew and became brighter in color. O drew the energies of others into oself, and in the same way this green Plant absorbed os sadness. The room was grumpy that morning. Whenever o was in such a mood, the ceiling rose and the walls moved closer toward center. As the opposite corner retracted, the space – usually square more or less – was transformed into a strange trapezoid. O knew Qui in ways no other space did. When Qui considered which space might define om better, o always felt uncertain."
"[...]Welcome, Ms. Quibilah," said Meier.–Why is o addressing me with a gender? Has o not read the form where I explain I am biformal and need no salutation? Is o making fun of me?"
"[...]The transformation began in households (as did the discrimination). O started with the persons identifying as female, the woman, holding the knife at the blade instead of the handle. The transformation took many years and was accelerated only by the rewrite of history and reformation of language.In the 25th ratio, all concepts and euphemisms for superiority and dominance were erased and everything contributing to harmony emphasized. Biocentrism became the norm; anthropocentrism was eliminated in all os forms, terms and teachings.–Words were cleansed. Gender was once emphasized in pronouns, even nouns and other forms in the order that was. Now I cannot remember those gendered forms for male and female, for neuter. There is only o now. In this probability gender has no sense of prejudice or judgement and pertains only to a particular biological state."
Q, is a speculative fiction story that is constituted of a feminist linguistic manifesto. The story takes place in Zürich in a different possibility, telling a story of migration and the interaction between the character, Quibilah, and administrative buildings. It is narrated in magic realism genre. The book consists of 3 languages of the story: German, English and Turkish. The interaction between these three languages in the book is, the third singular gender in German (er/sie/es) and English (he/she/it) are eliminated and genderless third singular (o) is imitated from Turkish. To be able to integrate this genderless linguistic, various pronouns were invented such as, om, os, oself.
Written by Ceylan Öztrük
Translation from Turkish to German: Tevfik Turan
Translation From Turkish to English: Özden Arikan
Copyediting/Proofreading: Nadine Kube, Kevin Lossner
Graphic design: Vela Arbutina
Production: Druckerei Odermatt AG
Published in the context of: "Eine Ausstellung für Dich/An Exhibition for You" (Helmaus, 2017)
Curator: Daniel Morgenthaler
© Ceylan Öztrük and Helmhaus Zürich, 2017