Clapstick Event

Turkish Cinema and Women: An Equivocal Relationship of Love


After a brief introduction charting the chronological history of Turkish cinema, I will focus on women's historical representation from the early days to the commercial Yesilcam cinema to the present, including films of modern masters such as Zeki Demirkubuz and Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The visibility and invisibility, or the presence and absence of the woman, particularly in contemporary cinema is an integral part of the discussion.

The second aspect is women behind the camera. Again from a historical perspective, I will examine landmark films to the present day with a deeper analysis of the work of Yesim Ustaoglu, the most distinguished woman filmmaker of Turkey, but also the younger generation that has been receiving international awards. Their films show their concerns with recent social and political issues, one of which is 'momism', the traditional concept of motherhood, which is questioned. Minority cinema -Kurdish films- will also be examined along with the vibrant documentary movement led mostly by women.

The two parts are interconnected. Therefore, the lecture does not necessarily follow this order.

During the discussion that will follow, perhaps with the aid of the audience (and I would like to encourage the audience in this respect), we can also compare some of the similarities of the distinguishing traits with Indian cinema as well.

About The Speaker:

Gonul Donmez-Colin is a film scholar, specialized in the cinemas of the Middle East and Central Asia. A native of Istanbul, she completed her post-graduate studies at the Concordia and McGill Universities in Montreal, Canada. She has lectured in Montreal and Hong Kong and has done fieldwork in Iran, Turkey and Central Asia. She is the author of Women, Islam and Cinema (2004); Cinemas of the Other: A Personal Journey with Filmmakers from Iran and Turkey (2012); Cinemas of the Other: A Personal Journey with Filmmakers from Central Asia (2012); The Cinema of North Africa and the Middle East (ed.) (2007); Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance and Belonging (2008) and The Routledge Dictionary of Turkish Cinema (2014). Her work on women and cinema, including 'Women In Turkish Cinema: Their Presence and Absence as Images and as Image-Makers (Third Text special issue Cinema in Muslim Societies, 2010)' has received special attention.

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