AESTHETICS OF OCCIDENTALISM.
Yücel Çakmaklı’s Islamic-Turkish Millî Sinema
(“National Cinema”) (1964-2006)
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Ömer Alkın
Project Duration: 2020-2024
Institution: University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein, (previously: Philipps-Universität Marburg)
For more than thirty years, scholars have been investigating different conceptions of ‘Occidentalism’. For the most part, these studies bring together discourse-analytically conceptualised research that analyses the dichotomous relationship between Orient and Occident and the complex discursive and historical entanglements, also in different regional and national contexts.
Although radio broadcasts, photographs or other media are examined in the studies, the non-textual media-aesthetic qualities (i.e.: image, sound, etc.) are hardly included in the analysis. What part do media-aesthetic qualities of discourses play in constituting occidentalist discourse meaning? Such discourses are assumed to be those that construct the West in a pejorative and delimiting way in order to stabilise and consolidate a non-Western self. The research project explores this overarching question using an example that has so far been neglected in research discourse.
Specifically, it examines the cinematic work of Yücel Çakmaklı (*1943-2009), the founder of a national-Islamic cinema in Turkey, by means of cinematic work analyses, and works out decidedly film-aesthetic characteristics that implement occidentalist discourse dynamics in film.