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DansÃz 2006: The "Oriental Dancer" as embodiment of current societal processes in Turkey


Recently, the 'Oriental Dancer' has become firmly established in different cultural scenes of Turkey: he/she is part of pop-culture as well as of arabesk-culture, stands for cultural authenticity and (female) agency as well as for the flattening of the folk-culture due to the increasing influence and consumption of mass media.

The project points out the diverse and divergent ascriptions to this created object ('Kunstfigur') and takes these ascriptions as embodied symbols of current fundamental societal discourses and processes in Turkey at the beginning of the third millennium.

The project inquires from a culture scientific point of view into the change in gender-construction, in the relationship between authenticity/tradition and innovation, in the perception of cultural belonging to space-value-imaginations like the 'Orient', 'Europe', or the 'global village'.

The project is methodically based on participant observation, qualitative expert interviews, and systematic analysis of daily newspapers and gossip magazines. The interviewees' sample consists of professional dancers, representatives of DIYANET (the office of religious affairs in Turkey), of independent religious communities, feminist activist groups and teachers of the state academy of ballet.

The project fulfils the requirements of Annex I/IV : External Responsibility:
The third pillar of the strategy on Turkey entails a substantial strengthening of political and cultural dialogue. The Commission will present proposals on how to sup port the political and cultural dialogue bringing people together from EU Member States and Turkey. Civil Society should play the most important role in this dialogue, which should be facilitated by the EU. The Oriental Dancer embodies and is the object of ascription and in the reverse various readings of current societal discourses in Turkey. The researcher hopes that Turkey's place in European studies will be advanced by projects such as this one.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/political science/political policy/civil society

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

EIF - Marie Curie actions-Intra-European Fellowships