When a language dies, many millennia of human experience and culture die along with it. Zazaki is spoken by three million Zaza people living in the eastern part of Turkey and some 200,000 Zazas in Germany; it is on the UNESCO list of endangered languages. The language has been suppressed in the wake of Turkification and many parents speak Turkish with their children, even at home. Ekinci wants to take a two-pronged approach to this project with the aim of producing a documentary film that explores reasons for the threat of extinction as well as means of ensuring the language’s survival.
On one hand, he wants to do research into the situation of languages that are faced with extinction based on the example of Zazaki, and, on the other, he will film the progress of his daughter’s learning process. Her mother is German and Ekinci speaks Zazaki with her.
Burhan Ekinci, born in Turkey in 1979, has been living in Germany since 2016. He published his first novel Mezel in Turkey in 2019.