[-empyre-] Documenting & Dancing Repair

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Nov 28 05:53:36 EST 2013

thanks Selmin for your good reply and deeper explanation of the complexity of the Sufi dance during the Gezi protests, and how it

Thanks also for reminding us of the dancer wearing a gas mask.  I somehow had displaced this or confused it with the images of many others wearing
such gas masks, and I agree with you that this is a powerful image  (I remember seeing how many folks took to wearing these white paper face masks after
the Fukushima reactor accident in Japan, and they obvously could not protect against radiation) that must have helped in the "embracing the image of the Sufi dancer" - and
I guess such a gas mask is not only symbolic against the use of gas by the military / police against its own people, but it strikingly also points
to speechlessness or silencing of speech, as well as being a strange, ironic accoutrement to the spiritual dimension of the Sufi dance.

Now, Selmin you write of the "now-iconic sufi dancer from the protests" , and I wonder how you think such an image becomes iconic and how it can sustain itself and be
read, spread or (mis)interpreted out of context? in other words, as we have this discussion on documentation of activism, and alongside the question posed earlier today by Ebru Yetiskin
regarding the "social archive" or "social memory" / "new archival practices (of software, algorthmic, technology-based art and culture),  I would ask what kind of
[networked] "social memory" is being constituted by such documentatons and disseminations? What does a YouTube clip (and I have no idea what a social algorithm might be) affirm, prove, witness or display?

I noted that many documentaries on the Gezi Park protests now have appeared on YouTube, and there is a wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_protests_in_Turkey) on the
2013 protests in Turkey with a very wide range of references and sources;  I accessed this page in the UK, so one must presume it will be constituted differently in Turkey, in Russia, in Iran,
in China?

What kind of [networked] social memory is this then, if we have to assume that it is continuously constituted differentially, at all times and all the time, and it will (iconically or not) resonate
differently, and can also be falsified, dismembered or dis/tributed?  I remember that in one documentary, for example, shown by Hayriye Koç Başara,
the protest actions in Gezi Park at one point were accompanied by a corny Beatles soundtrack, slipping off to become sentimentalized.

with regards

Johannes Birringer

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