Art Utopia Berlin – A city not as it seems.

A study of cases of Turkish Artists coming to Berlin post 2010

Since September 2019 I am working on a project with the working title above. There are many visual artists who relocated from Turkey to Berlin in the recent years to flee a repressive political climate. They find the energy to give their emotional struggles a visual form in their artworks, despite working in a precarious field. 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. Therefore it would be inappropriate to assign value to their work only in terms of seeing it as part of a ‚diversity-discourse‘ which often seems to be a criteria for evaluation in cultural policies and art-work in Berlin.

Their artistic techniques are unique and equally their backgrounds vary 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. Talking with them and engaging with their art gives ‘empirical insights’ into their affectivity.


I am approaching this topic from the perspective of Sociology of Art. I am interested in cognitive processes in the arts, affectivity and follow the idea of applying a ‚pragmatic‘ Sociology. I am motivated through my own experiences as a painter who moved from Germany to Turkey, where I lived several years, to England.

Read more ‚unfinished texts‘ on my Blog.