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Dr. Gurur Ertem: Promises and Pitfalls of ‘Political’ Curating in Live Arts – Vortrag

Gurur Ertem

On the limits of current discussions on identity politics in the live arts.

Drawing on the work of the Marxist feminist political theorist Nancy Fraser and observations in contemporary artistic and curatorial practices in live arts, this talk is an invitation to think about the limitations of the current preoccupation with identity politics in the field. It argues that artistic and curatorial activism is often based on a narrow definition of diversity and inclusion. While the current focus on including marginalized voices, bodies, movements, stories, and bodies of knowledge is a welcome development in the arts, it is counterproductive to treat why these marginalizations exist in the first place as singular issues unrelated to the global capitalist order. An emancipatory response to the constituents of the global crisis such as planetary meltdown, rising precarity, declining living standards, racialized and sexualized violence, authoritarianism, and militarization, needs to connect the multiple social movements and artistic practices in a manner that is especially sensitive to class dynamics and the affective dimensions of capitalism and politics.

Dr. Gurur Ertem is a sociologist, dancer, and dance/performance studies scholar. Recently, she was a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin. Besides teaching at the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts and Boğaziçi University, Ertem is a movement-based expressive arts and somatic education practitioner. Her trans-disciplinary work combines the arts, social, and political theory and investigates the aesthetic and affective enunciations of the "political." She was a Fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude and of the Hannah Arendt Seminar at The Institute for Critical Social Inquiry. Ertem has, among others, curated the iDANS Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance in Istanbul between 2006-2014. She is the founding co-director of Bimeras Istanbul and Bimeras Berlin, a not-for-profit initiative for inquiry across the arts, social sciences, and humanities.

The lecture series is jointly curated and organised by Prof. Dr. Sandra Noeth (MA SODA/HZT Berlin) and Prof. Dan Belasco Rogers (UdK Studium Generale).