Standing up and eating together
Lorenzo D'orsi (CNR - Italian National Council of Research)
Paper short abstract:
The paper analyses tactics of resistance put in place during protests of Gezi park in Istanbul, like the still man and the breaking of fast of Ramadan organized by protesters. These are innovative practices of resistance that proved a skilful use of cultural codes and disrupted hierarchies of power.
Paper long abstract:
This paper analyses two tactics of resistance put in place during protests of Gezi park in Istanbul, showing how they disrupted the polarization of Turkish society and challenged a long history of dispossession by the State. The iftar (the breaking of fast during Ramadan) organized by protesters, gathering together religious and secular people, had proved a skilful use of cultural codes, since it subverted one of the most significant divisions of society. It was a practice of re-appropriation that broke with the existing and blended what should remain separate. Secondly, the so-called duran adam, the still man, can be seen as a bodily practice for rethinking society, upsetting the dominant codes. Remaining motionless was a rejection of staying in the assigned proper place, disrupting the way spaces, dissent and resistance are thought. The bodies in the streets of Istanbul were transgressing the hierarchies that have historically determined them and can be read as an attempt to overcome a long tradition of Statecraft trying to colonize bodies and lifestyles. Gezi movement, with its ability in reinventing the meaning of things and the uses of the bodies, redraw the boundaries of political discourse and offered to the rest of society other conceptions of social experience. These innovative practices of protest also allowed youth to cross their own spheres. Indeed, the unevenness of subjects involved made appear Gezi movement as a "collective thereness" (Butler 2103) where an unexpected sense of belonging grew up between people who hitherto had never mixed among each other.
Youth and social movements