The "Standing Man" As a Performative Creation of Immediate Collectivities and Counter-Public Spaces

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Ozge DERMAN, EHESS Paris (CRAL), Turkey
Since 2010 an unexpected phenomenon emerged within numerous rallies in public spaces of big cities around the globe, during which people demand freedom and dignity for all. These new social movements have certain physicality due to the presence of people claiming their rights but also the right to a space in which they exist. Through gatherings and occupations, those public places transform into spaces of interaction and experience upon which a truly democratic realization of "acting together" come into existence. A new experience of "living together" of heterogeneous identities generated a collective energy by creating multiple ties and changed the nature of social and political movements. These new social movements of public places represent thus a different way of doing politics by their existence out of political parties and unions, as well as by not seeking any power conquest and not being represented by a leader. As a consequence, they bring about idea of occupation and civil disobedience by considering the equality of all individuals involved. Those people construct their own unique temporality and spatiality along with their creation of plural "counter-public spaces".  

As everyday life becomes a theatrical scene resulting from a performative social creativity, art also takes a democratic form by which artists create alternative spaces of liberation and resistance. Considering the intense presence of artistic interventions throughout all occupy movements, in this study one of the most iconic performative actions of Gezi Movement in Istanbul will be examined, the "Standing Man". The stand-in of one man who stayed still and silent for 8 hours in Taksim Square represents a performance or/and a protest that has been followed around the world through social media. A simple and small gesture of everyday life engenders immediate collectivities of bodies as counter-spaces that finally break up the sense of powerlessness.