Ceren Mert Presented @ Spaces of Alterity Conference

Spaces of Alterity: Conceptualising Counter-Hegemonic Sites, Practices and Narratives April 27-28, 2011 (held in Nottingham-UK; organized by University of Nottingham)

“Forming Creative Spaces through Films: Fatih Akin and the Possible Representations of the Lived Spaces of the Immigrants

Paper Presentation: Ceren Mert (Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey)

Initially this paper will dwell on the philosophical conceptualization of ‘space’ and how spatialization takes (or might take) place utilizing the theoretical conceptualizations of writers such as Lefebvre, Deleuze & Guattari, and Doreen Massey. Taking these authors’ spatial conceptualizations into consideration, I will elaborate on the issue of city-spaces within the process of globalization and how immigrants and diasporic cultures (especially youth) construct spaces of alterity making use of their artistic creation (i.e. film and music) that can also act as spaces of resistance. Hence, within this era of vast global cultural flows, the city, or in other words, urban spaces play a significant role as they embrace countless amount of hybrid artistic formations of the immigrant youths. Thus, the urban space, although embarks upon what Deleuze and Guattari would term as striated spaces, it nevertheless also brings forth its own smooth spaces –which for these philosophers are associated with the nomad. Furthermore, the urban space also encapsulates what Lefebvre would mention as representational spaces, which are those spaces in relation with the lived and the everyday life. Thus, as Massey would put it, space is dynamic and never closed; where in a similar manner we could witness the never-ending new openings of the immigrants’ artistic practices. Accordingly, this paper aims to bring together all these theoretical abstractions under the analysis of one of the most recent notable film-makers/directors, who is also a second-generation Turkish immigrant in Germany: Fatih Akin. What kind of spatial alterity can be found in the filmic production of Fatih Akin? How does he represent the everyday life of the Turkish immigrants and their interaction with other people from different national or ethnic origins? In what ways do the discourses of the artistic practices such as in this case of Akin can form an opposition with those of the nation-state on a more macro level? These questions will be interrogated along the lines of where this paper has started out with; the ideas of space and spatial practices of the theoreticians mentioned above.”

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