- Image acts and visual communities: everyday nationalism in contemporary Turkey
- Award date
- 15 January 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
In the dissertation entitled "Image Acts and Visual Communities: Contemporary Nationalism in Turkey", I investigate the image politics of nationalist practices in everyday life by focusing on contemporary Turkey and tracking the way images of the nation travel through a variety of fields. I depart from the idea that images provide an especially productive ground to analyze the contested and negotiated dynamics of national identity (re)production and community (de)formation in everyday life. I focus less on the history of official nationalist imagery production by the state, and more on the reproduction of nationalist imagery in everyday life, by the people themselves, who do not only look at, but also look with images. I identify five different types of images as significant for how national identity formation and image politics intertwine: commodified images, bio-images, ghostly images, media images and disorienting images. Through a variety of objects, such as commodities, masks, tattoos, advertisements, films, apparitions, monuments and artworks, I explore how images act both to draw borders around communities and to provide the means to challenge these borders. I look at the ways in which visual communities provide shortcuts to existing notions of national language, race, as well as ethnicity and gender, turning its fictive status into a tangible entity with material effects and consequences. The identification of these "image acts" and "visual communities" does not only reveal the specificities of the particular context of 2000s Turkey, but also offers a theoretical path and conceptual kit to analyze the intertwinements of nationalism and visual culture.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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