The spirit of Gezi: the recomposition of political subjectivities in Turkey

Autumn 2014

In the last few years, a sequence of protests and uprisings occurred across the planet from the student’s movement in Chile, to the Egyptian revolution, the Spanish Indignados, Occupy Wall Street up to the Gezi Park protest in Turkey. Despite their respective singularity these events seem to reveal new practices and forms of political subjectivity. The paper focuses on three aspects by analysing the recent Turkish case, the Gezi Park protests. Firstly, it explores what the authors call the process of ‘recomposition of people’, which is connected to the emergence of new subjectivities and social practices, and eventually to the emergence of new norms, as indicated by the pervasive reference to the ‘Spirit of Gezi’. Secondly it discusses the virtually classical phenomenon of emergence by examining infrastructures and practices of ‘commoning’, which created what many participants of the protests lived as a transgressive experience. Thirdly, drawing on a Spinozan theoretical framework, the authors investigate the affective dimensions of the Gezi protest, emphasising the transformative role played by humour during the uprising.

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New Formations 83 - Writing and Resistance