The aim of this presentation is to look at the Gezi Park protests which happened in Turkey during the summer of 2013, and to conduct audio-visual content analysis in relation to the cultural productions of the protest activists during the pre- and after-math of the events.
Starting with a small group of environmentalists who were protesting against the demolition of Gezi Park - a small park located in Taksim Square area of Istanbul - events grew into the series of huge and unprecedented protests, swapping the whole country in a matter of days, where approximately 2.5 million people argued to have participated. Yet, protests quickly lost their momentum and only within the few months completely disappeared.
Despite their relatively quick fading away the Gezi Park protests contributed a great deal into the social psyche of Turkish society – and were limitedly channeled into the political struggle of post-Gezi platforms such as Taksim Solidarity and United June Movement. One of the main reasons for such lasting effect was the enormous cultural and aesthetical production of various audio-visual artefacts during and after the events, where some of them are still ‘alive’ despite the passing two years: like graffiti, which are still visible on some of the walls, especially in big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir; or protest songs produced during the events, which are still popular and can be heard in some bars and cafes.
In this sense this presentation, by focusing on the Gezi Park protests, also addresses whether the aesthetical and cultural production and circulation of the social movement (or protest) is suitable to contribute into the sustainability of that social movement.
ACGS International Conference "Global Cultures of Contestation". ACGS (Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies), Amsterdam, Netherlands, 15-16 October 2015