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Posts tagged ‘Dance and Resistance’

Gezi Uprising and Corporeal Politics: Watch out history when a dancer goes still! [1]

Gurur Ertem 

“Imagine, but don’t do it, imagine that you are about to take a step forward with your left foot. What is the difference? Back to standing…

Imagine but don’t do it, imagine that you are about to do a step with your left foot. What is the difference? Back to standing…

Imagine but don’t do it, imagine that you are about to take a step with your right foot… your left foot… your right… your left, right, left…… standing.

…Slowly let your body collapse into a squat… release into a voluntary fall. Breathe, squatting with hands on the floor, neck relaxed… see if you can relax in this position… and come up.”

Steve Paxton. The Small Dance, The Stand (1977)

I

Gezi Uprising, the unprecedentedly large[2] civil uprising in modern Turkey that broke out at the end of May 2013, powerfully manifested the corporeal dimension not only of social protests but the bodily precondition of politics in general.

What paved the way for Gezi Park events were the culmination of discontentment with the appropriation and exploitation of urban public spaces upon the interests of private gain; the increasing authoritarianism and paternalism of the ruling Justice and Development Party; and the continual infringement of the freedom of speech. Police brutality against environmentalists who had set up camp at Gezi Park to protest the demolishment of trees for the implementation of a dubious, unlawful construction plan imposed by the government was the last drop that incited millions of people to the streets.

Against the backdrop of the post-political neo-liberal order governed by some kind of “majoritarian democracy”, Gezi Uprising presented the rebirth of the “political”[3]. Read more