The Legend of the Mankurt is an ancient Turkic legend that was popularized by the Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov in his book The Day Lasts More Than A Hundred Years (1980). The goal was to create open-source educational materials with decolonization and self-reflection at its core.
A mankurt, according to the legend, is a person who has forgotten their past, abandoned their national customs, traditions, values and lost their moral guidelines. Aitmatov rediscovered the legend, introduced it into artistic and scientific use, and made it and the term mankurt a household concept in many cultures and languages.
The last page of the book contains a QR code that the reader can scan with a smartphone. The code then takes them to an Instagram filter that serves as a space for self-reflection. The filter is an artistic interpretation of a mankurt: a shell, a carcass with a void inside of them.
To access the filter either scan the QR code below with your smartphone, or if you are using a mobile device, click here