Beyond the Camera: Women Screenwriters in Turkish Cinema

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:45
Location: Hörsaal 24 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Sirin DILLI, Giresun Üniversitesi, Turkey
May 1968 brought a lot of changes to the so-called “Occident”. What often people forget though, is the fact that 1968 was most probably the first global and generational movement that managed to make boundaries such as “West” and “the Rest” fuzzy.

In Turkey, 1968 marks not only the entrance of margins into political debates. It also introduces new genres to cinema, in parallel with the emergences of social movements as the ones of women.

This article proposes to study the links between women screenwriting and feminism in Turkey starting the 60’s, from both historical and aesthetic angle:

- How has screenwriting been used as a means to support and popularize feminist movements?

- What was the impact of feminism in the field of film and video?

Following the work of women screenwriters from Turkey, I argue that one can show how film industry as one of the most powerful popular cultural artefacts, can be a counter-hegemonic and/or a provocative tool for women to express and create their quest for individual and collective identity.

In order to do so, the first part starts with the emergence of the "woman question" within the “realist cinema” reconfigured after May 1968 in Turkey: a gender specific field in the cinema opens thanks to movies focusing on class struggle. The second part examines the emergence of an autonomous women's feminist screenwriting practice, which is closely related to a political process of self-representation. Grabbing the tool of scenario writing responds, in a way, to a political strategy of speaking and reclaiming their bodies and their sexuality through the screen. Beyond the movies, the third part examines in how far scenarios have been used as feminist and/or a political tool. I particularly focus on " women cinema" to confront feminism, its theories and practices.