Cinema, space and nation : the production of Doğu in cinema in Turkey




Sengul, Ali Fuat 1979-

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From social realism and socialist cinema, to the Turkish 'new wave' and the nascent Kurdish cinema, this dissertation traces the mutual implication of the production of Turkish national space and of Doğu ("The East") as cinematic space. Doğu emerged as part of a discursive formation within the Turkish state's address to eastern Turkey; it entered national cinema as a result of the journey of social realism to the region in the aftermath of the military coup in 1960, which allowed for the bourgeoning of the socialist public sphere and enabled filmmakers to cinematically reflect on the region. However, the state's renewed security-oriented interests, triggered by the resurgent Kurdish movement within both Turkey and Iraq, permeated the region and enforced limits on the representation of Doğu as a new cinematic space. Although in its cinematic incarnation 'Doğu' was hardly a perpetuation of state ideology, a cartographic anxiety--informed by the desire for spatial modernization--shaped the politico-aesthetic parameters of the region's cinematic presence. In recent years, the representation of the region within the nascent Kurdish cinema can be understood as a deconstructive turn problematizing the foundation of Turkish national space and the cinematic Doğu.



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