Anglia Ruskin University
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Where is home? Cultural hybridity and the quest for belonging in Turkish-German cinema

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:51 authored by Christina Langhans
This study examines the cinematic portrayal of the interrelationship between the concepts of home and cultural hybridity within contemporary processes of migration in Thomas Arslan’s Brothers and Sisters (1997), Dealer (1999), A Fine Day (2001) and Ferien (2007) as prime examples of Turkish-German cinema. It argues that cultural hybridity offers the potential to construct new spaces of home apart from demarcating, essentialist polarities. While integrating critical discourse analysis and literary analysis of post-colonial (Said, 1978; Bhabha, 1994), transcultural (Welsch, 1999, 2010; Antor, 2010, Werbner, 2015), sociological (Castells, 1997; Gellner, 2006), and film theories (Deleuze, 1986; Elsaesser, 1999; 2015; Hickethier, 2001), this study consists of two stages. Firstly, it explores concepts of culture, cultural hybridity, home, and collective memory in order to provide a theoretical and conceptual framework for the film analysis and, subsequently, it contextualises Arslan’s oeuvre through the analysis of Turkish-German cinema. Finally, it explores the cinematic techniques used in four consecutive films by Arslan in order to examine the interdependence between these apparent antipodes: home and cultural hybridity. My study demonstrates that the concept of home in a cultural hybrid context must be re-evaluated.The rigid understanding that the concept of home feeds on exclusionary polarities can no longer withstand in today’s society that is marked by ever-increasing boundary-crossings and cultural hybridity. At a time in which increased migratory streams to Europe coincide with the flourishing of nationalistic movements throughout Europe it is essential to recognise the processual and transformative qualities of culture and home that questions habitual constants, such as cultural identity and memory, and refutes primordial givens and cultural categorising in order to pave the way to new spaces of home.



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