German-Turkish Film and Video Culture in Berlin
Concept by Can Sungu
Berlin is home to a large German-Turkish community which is today an integral part of the city’s cultural life. Over the years, this community has established a Turkish film culture in Berlin. Starting with screenings of Turkish films in Berlin cinemas, Turkish-language videos conquered the market in the 1980s as a welcome alternative to exclusively German TV channels. The numerous video stores which offered these films played a key role, along with the ‘Turkish Bazaar’ at the metro station station Bülowstraße. Video sessions with neighbours and friends became important social events in family life. In addition to the vast range of Yeşilçam productions with its comedies, action films and melodramas, Turkish films produced in Germany also became popular, specifically those that dealt with migration experiences, alienation from the region of origin or country of origin, identity, religion and family. These films and their aesthetics have shaped a whole generation of renowned German filmmakers, such as Thomas Arslan, Fatih Akin, Ayse Polat, and many others. So far the history of this migrant film culture which originates in Germany has not received enough attention; indeed, it is almost completely absent in discourses on post-migrant films. This film culture and the associated places, actors and transnational narratives are an important testimony of German film and German cultural history and must therefore be remembered and acknowledged. With this publication, bi'bak embarks on a rediscovery of German-Turkish film and video culture in Berlin.
Curated by Can Sungu. Contributions by Ömer Alkin, Cem Kaya and others.
Funded by the Förderung zeitgeschichtlicher und erinnerungskultureller Projekte of Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.
Can Sungu studied film and visual communication design in Istanbul and at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has given workshops and seminars in the field of film and published texts on film and migration. As an artist, he participated in numerous exhibitions, including at MMSU Rijeka, Künstlerhaus Vienna and REDCAT Los Angeles. He is co-founder and artistic director of bi‘bak.