Contemporary artists from Turkey in Berlin: Emotional Dissonances and Art Practices

Since September 2019 I am working on a project with the working title above. There are many visual artists who worked in Berlin in the recent years. They give their emotional struggles space in their artworks, despite working in a field that is precarious by nature. The art objects play an important role in terms of creating a sense of belonging for them. In contrast to previous generations of so-called ‘German-Turks’, it is an active choice for many artists from Turkey to come to Germany. They come as individuals who try to escape a country of hopelessness. Their backgrounds are unique in terms of education, social privilege, and level of knowledge about art. However, they all have in common that they experience feelings of not belonging –  of not feeling like they could fully arrive – after moving to Germany or working there temporarily. They are not victims, and they have unique approaches to deal with relocation. Talking with them and engaging with their art gives ‘empirical insights’ into their affectivity.


I am approaching this topic from the perspective of Art Sociology. I am interested in cognitive processes in the arts, affectivity and follow the idea of applying a ‚pragmatic‘ ethnography. I am driven by my own painterly practice and those precious years that I had studied and worked in Istanbul myself. The picture you see is just a snapshot of finding structure where there is none to unravel what it means to be someone somewhere, but…

Read more ‚unfinished texts‘ on my Blog.