Article published in:Media, Migration and Human Rights: Discourse and Resistance in the Context of the Erosion of Liberal Norms
Edited by Ekaterina Balabanova and Ruxandra Trandafoiu
[Journal of Language and Politics 19:3] 2020
► pp. 436–456
‘Cinema as a common activity’
Film audiences, social inclusion, and heterogeneity in Istanbul during the Occupy Gezi
This paper is concerned with the ways in which mediating spaces like film festivals function as alternative public spheres when social movements escalate, arguing that the Istanbul International Film Festival and Documentarist right before, during and following the Gezi protests turned into politically and socially inclusive spaces for marginalised groups in Turkey. To account for how audiences and organisers aimed to transform these mediating spaces into socially inclusive and heterogeneous outlets during the Gezi protests, the paper relies on an audience ethnography in the sites of these film festivals from 2013 until 2017 including participant observation, go-alongs and in-depth interviews with audiences, film crews and organizers. Although the spaces of these two film festivals functioned differently, the article shows that film festival spaces generally transformed into cosmopolitan outlets in Istanbul in this period, opening room for a dialogue between marginalised and dominant groups, which was fed by social movements
Keywords: social inclusion, festivals, counter-public sphere, Gezi Park, Istanbul, cosmopolitanism, audience research, media activism
Published online: 25 March 2020
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