Director Emek Bizim İstanbul Bizim initiative Turkey 2016

48 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Kaspar Aebi and Senem Aytaç

Audience Emancipated

The screening is part of the Cinema of Commoning Symposium, which will take place at Sinema Transtopia from June 24 to 26, 2022.

The planned demolition of the Emek cinema in Istanbul led to years of protests. This protest movement, which was documented by the activists through phone recordings, was one of the first triggers of the Gezi protests. These protests eventually gave rise to a new public consciousness, which organized itself on the streets and via the Internet, documented the events with live videos and tweets, and enabled independent reporting. Audience Emancipated takes into account the constant process of this "reporting from below". Standing in the film’s credits, next to the collective’s email address, is: "this film is an ongoing project by Emek Bizim İstanbul Bizim. As long as the struggle continues, the film's editing will continue". Film footage of the protesters, TV coverage and film clips commenting on the events are contrasted again and again throughout the film. The juxtaposition of two images evokes a third, fourth or fifth idea and a multitude of poignant political arguments. Seldom has activist filmmaking used cinematic means so cleverly, while also keeping the pulse on the times.

Book tickets

Kaspar Aebi is a curator, author, film and media scholar trained in social studies and cultural anthropology. His main interests are pop culture, the politics of architecture, the intersection of neoliberalism and conservative/right wing ideologies, feminist theory, and documentary filmmaking. For the film blog Jugend ohne Film Kaspar edited a special issue on architecture and neoliberalism. In his master thesis he focuses on spatial intermediation and sheltering through cinema architecture. Kaspar coordinates the film copies and edits the program texts at Sinema Transtopia.

Senem Aytaç is a film critic. She has been on the editorial board of Altyazı Cinema Magazine since 2004 and was one the chief editors for more than ten years. She is a co-founder and the project manager of Altyazı Cinema Association, which was founded in 2019 to strengthen the free film culture in Turkey. She is now based in Berlin as a scholarship holder in collaboration with the Artist Residency Program ‘Hier & Jetzt: Connections’. She is part of Emek Bizim İstanbul Bizim Initiative.