Memory of a Square(Perceived from Interior)

Topics: Turkey, Coup d'état, Istanbul Pages: 3 (1151 words) Published: October 3, 2012
A Family as a Reflector of a Country’s Recent History and a History as a Reflector of a Family: Memory of a Square

Memory of a Square(perceived from interior) is a black-and white designed double projection created by Gülsün Karamustafa in 2005. The video proceeds by a melody reminding old silent movies. In it she combines several political events at Taksim Square- a very important place in the political history of Turkey- with scenes from the daily life of a family which resides in a house with a view of the square and watches the events in it. The story represents the political development of the country from 1930 to 1985 and various scenes of daily life of a family simultaneously. It suggests that series of demonstrations, protests, and clashes, glorifications of monuments and abasements of heritage buildings always reflect the current social and political situation. Initially, we cannot correlate the two projections with each other. Yet, as continuing to watch the video, we realize that how a square’s history tallies with the personal history of each people. Gülsün Karamustafa uses the Taksim Square and the family’s home and besides, people in the square and in the family as a reflector of each other alternately. The first episode starts with showing the family consisting of three generations on one of projections and the unveiling of the monument in the very center of Taksim Square on the other. While the people in the house are practicing their daily activities like knitting and smoking, people in Taksim Square are waving flags, walking, and marching around the Atatürk monument. Bride and grooms having their photos taken, soldiers marching, children running with flags, and other people walking around nattily- as Atatürk’s ‘hat and wearing reform’ required- leap to the eye. While the family blithely looks at the old photos (of themselves probably), people perform the tradition of having their photos taken with the monument in Taksim Square. Thus, we may...
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