As part of this paper; we intend to analyse what we have labelled as ’Pop-Kemalism’ and can be described as the proliferation of commercial nationalist symbols in public space. What is remarkable about this phenomena is that the explosion in the amount of nationalist symbols is an entirely civilian based initiative. While nationalist symbolism until the early 1990s was exclusively regulated by the state; what characterises the present is the decline in official nationalist iconography and proliferation of commercial nationalist iconography. Drawing from the work of Appadurai (1996;2006); Bauman (2001) and Hage (1998;2003); we want to argue that the re-emergence of nationalist imagery can be seen as a reaction to the effects of globalization or what has been termed as ’liquid modernity’. Adding to this; the return of the nationalist symbol within the modality of the civilian Mustafa Kemal Atat√ľrk can be understood as a dialectical reply to the cultural politics of the veil. Contrary to popular opinion; what we hope to demonstrate using the work of ŇĹiŇĺek is that (re)popularisation of nationalist symbols; rather than constituting a legitimate basis of resistance is actually symptomatic of a post-political situation that helps sustain and replicate the effects of neoliberalisation.
The second part of the paper will be devoted to two primary themes. Firstly we will analyse how cultural production acts as a virtual ’screen’ for the reproduction of particular subjectivities. To demonstrate this point we will be using a sketch from the Turkish secular comedy series ’Olacak O Kadar’; to demonstrate how cultural productions act as phantasmic screens for the reproduction of particular subjectivities. In other words we will be discussing the aesthetics of Kemalist nationalism. Secondly; following the work of Jodi Dean on this topic (2009;2010) we will be discussing how the subjectivity sustained by the politics of Pop-Kemalism is co-opted into the profit-making mechanisms of new media. Here; we will be discussing how the structural architecture of new media spaces intensify subjective insecurities and re-format user activity into corporate profit.
Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrk√∂ping; Sweden 2011
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