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Title: Film festivals and social movements intertwined : the spatial activism of the Istanbul Film Festival audience during the Gezi protests
Author: Ozduzen, Ozge
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 7176
Awarding Body: Edge Hill University
Current Institution: Edge Hill University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis focuses on the relationship between film festivals and political activism by taking the International Istanbul Film Festival (IIFF) audience as a case study during the Gezi uprising. It is a study of a community’s political action hand in hand with their cosmopolitan imagination and nostalgic feelings in their engagement with the IIFF, when Turkey increasingly lurched towards authoritarianism in the 2010s. Through the increasing number of festival films and events that went against the dominant ideology in Turkey, this audience community embraced an activist cosmopolitanism which set the ground for political action. It scrutinises their formation of nostalgic feelings for the historical spaces in Beyoğlu, developed jointly by their anti-neoliberal discourses while also displaying their political action against the top-down urban regeneration programmes. In order to account for their political activism, revolving initially around festival spaces and then occupied parks, I conducted an ethnographic research at the festival and the Gezi uprising from 2013 to 2014. Employing participant observation, life histories and in-depth interviews, this research examines the intricacies of human relations with spaces, social movements and cultural events at an increasingly authoritarian regime. The rise of authoritarianism also implied a transformation in my methodology. This thesis offers a timely contribution to the relationship between neoliberalism and Islamic fundamentalism while pointing to people’s political use of cultural spaces. It also offers new insights on the phenomenon of film festivals by relating them to urban cultures and social movements in their hosting cities. It expands our knowledge on non-Western audiences’ engagement with a film festival, whilst providing an interpretation of social movement development attached to cultural spaces such as film festivals. More broadly, it gives new insights on the film and protest culture of a secular group within a predominantly Muslim culture in showing the ways in which they oppose Islamic fundamentalism and neoliberalism. It situates the Emek movement and the Gezi uprising, not only in their close affinity with Istanbul’s cityscape and Turkey’s political situation but also in their organic relationship with global social movements particularly the Occupy movements and the Arab Spring. Thus, this thesis makes a unique interdisciplinary contribution to II the existing literature on film festivals as well as urban research and social movements.
Supervisor: Trandafoiu, Ruxandra Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: NX Arts in general