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Makeshift

Makeshift is a short documentary I co-produced with Nada Smiljanic, for Short Cuts on BBC Radio 4. Here’s a link to the full episode..

Makeshift is about Laura, a non-binary activist living in Novi Sad in Serbia. Laura wrote the first ever grammatical deep dive into how non-binary people could refer to themselves in Serbo-Croatian – one of the most highly gendered and grammatically complex languages there is.

Nada originally found Laura’s work when she was trying to work out how to refer to her non-binary friend in Serbo-Croatian. When Nada asked me to co-produce Makeshift with her, I was so excited as it’s a subject very close to my heart. Many trans people including myself will recognise the experience of settling for the words available to them that amount to the closest approximation of how they feel inside. Laura is a total legend, and speaks on this the cognitive dissonance of knowing who you are, and not being able to express it, very beautifully.

As we were making this, Nada asked me what pronouns I would like to refer to me in Serbo-Croatian! You’ll hear in the piece that Laura’s thought of many options. My choice is ono/njemu/njega which is the equivalent of it/it/its.

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