A "Magic and Poetic" Moment of Dissensus: Aesthetics and Politics in the June 2013 (Gezi Park) Protests in Turkey


SPACE AND CULTURE, vol.20, no.2, pp.191-208, 2017 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1206331217697138
  • Journal Name: SPACE AND CULTURE
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.191-208
  • Keywords: Gezi Park protests, Turkey, June Uprising, kinci Yeni, aesthetic politics, SPACE, RESISTANCE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article departs from analyses that underline the middle-class character of June 2013 (Gezi Park) protests in Turkey by focusing on the relationship between politics and aesthetics in the protest movement. The predominant form of protest in the movement was aesthetic political acts, which did not bring about any distinction based on class or cultural capital. Rather, the artistic practices and cultural symbols employed by protesters bridged gaps by bringing a large and diverse body of people around a common political position. The June protests constituted a moment of dissensus in the Rancierean sense as the shared position was based on an essential claim for equality of the demos and the demands of the anonymous to be seen, heard, counted in, and to partake. The article focuses on the role Second New Wave poetry played in the protests, as the protesters appropriated the ironic and ambiguous verses of the Second New Wave poets to create a unified movement.