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Becoming Undone: Contesting Nationalisms in Contemporary Turkish Popular Cinema

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Abstract:

This paper scrutinizes the ways in which two films from the showcase of contemporary Turkish popular cinema ( Mrs. Salkim's Diamonds and Commissar Shakespeare ) function in disordering the monolithic and homogenising discourse of Kemalist nationalism. The paper is an attempt to unravel how the official nationalism in Turkey has suppressed and imprisoned the diverse and plural identities in the margins of its society. Throughout the piece the author underlines the importance of the post-1980s political and social climate of Turkey in preparing the ground for subversive criticisms towards the Kemalist regime and in allocating a space for the emergence of multiple identities with ethnic, religious, local and global references. Finally, the paper explores how this climate has been reflected in cinema, through the analysis of the above-mentioned two films.

Keywords: Globalisation; Identity; Kemalism; Nationalism; Turkish Cinema

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608940600571313

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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