W043
Is after the Crisis before the Crisis? New perspectives on art, media and politics in Turkey

Convenors:
Britta Ohm (University of Bern)
Barbara Wolbert (University of Minnesota)
Discussant:
Levent Soysal
Location:
John Hume Boardroom
Start time:
25 August, 2010 at 11:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The panel seeks to evaluate the conjuncture of neo-liberalism, pro-Islamic and pro-EU politics in Turkey in context of the art and media scene, taking up questions regarding the relationship between censorship and neo-liberalism and the concoctions of Islamisation and commercialisation.

Long abstract:

Crisis' and 'Transformation' are terms that have been used to characterise the economic and political situation in Turkey for a long time. They are embedded in and expressive of Turkey's historical constellation of a structural cleavage between a militarily secured secularism and capitalism and a multi-party system that allows for (and conditions) democratising and welfare-oriented impulses through Islam and identity politics. With the incumbency of the AKP, the Justice and Development Party, a new conjuncture of neo-liberalism, pro-Islamic and pro-EU politics has evolved, which has given a boost to the art and media scene. "Istanbul 2010" celebrates the city as the European Capital of Culture, while Islamic TV channels and websites blossom and the public debate of the Kurdish issue and ethnic politics happens to a hitherto unimaginable degree. At the same time access to YouTube is banned, ratings govern television production, and a restricted popular image construction tends to dominate art and cultural representations. Questions thus arise for the contingencies and compulsions that channel art and media production in this context and for the chances of dissent, allowing for the transgression of new ideological barriers. Against this background we invite papers that explore into the relationship between censorship and neo-liberalism, deal with social distinction, mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, strategies of legitimisation, scopes and definitions of freedom of expression, as well as examine strategies of negotiation with 'official' ideas and the concoctions of Islamisation and commercialisation.