The LGBTI+ community has been the target of Turkish government’s growing hostility. Since 2014, the Istanbul Governor’s Office has banned the Pride March. Yet, LGBTI+ individuals and their allies still gather to celebrate and demand their rights every year. As a result of the relentless hate speech and violence directed at them, LGBTI+ community members have become activists in their own right.
By visually documenting the systematic brutality directed at them, LGBTI+ activists are taking radical steps to assert their existence and gain visibility in the eye of the public. This presentation will look at the videos from Pride March 2021 and assert that video activism has become a vital act for the LGBTI+ community in Turkey to counter the stigmatizing narratives that criminalize all the colours under the rainbow; raising awareness against the everyday human rights abuses the community faces; and record police brutality towards requests for peaceful assembly.
Moreover, the videos will also show the self-aware acts by LGBTI+ individuals to reclaim public spaces from which they are forcefully removed, as well as how they use confrontation with the police to voice their demands as equal citizens and subjects of this country.
irin Fulya Erensoy will be an MSCA post-doctoral fellow at Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf starting September 2021, where she will be working on the use of video as an activist tool of representation for Turkish practitioners living in Germany. Her previous academic work also concentrates on video activism as an alternative media practice, and censorship in documentary film practice in Turkey. Şirin was the host of Medyascope TV’s English news bulletin This Week in Turkey from 2019-2021 and worked as a lecturer in Film and Television at Istanbul Bilgi University. She also has practical work experience in documentary film production.