DS #40: Ayse Güleç: (Artistic) Practice Research

CuMMA Discourse Series #40

(Artistic) Practice Research – (Counter-)Narratives And Resistant

Knowledge Production
31st of October 2017, 18:00
Museum of Impossible Forms,
Kontula Shopping Centre, Keinulaudankuja 4 E, 2nd floor, lk 21, Helsinki

In her talk Ayse Güleç would like to reflect on how ‘practice-based research’ can work as collective knowledge production in activist-artistic contexts through solidarity, cooperative and performative gestures and acts.

Güleç will take a look at the concrete example of the ‘Society of Friends of Halit’, a group of local and international activists and artists, who together with his family, commemorate the life and death of Halit Yozgat and concurrently, all victims of the NSU (National Socialist Underground).

Halit was the last and youngest victim of the racially motivated series of murders committed by the so called NSU. He was shot in his internet café in Kassel on April 6, 2006. Between 2000 and 2006, nine men were killed with the same gun all over Germany. They had Turkish and Greek names, and were all independent entrepreneurs. Until 2011, the investigating officers focused their inquiries entirely on the victims’ families and their communities, while ignoring the knowledge and assumptions expressed by them, as well as other leads.

In the presentation, Ayse Güleç will focus on this knowledge gathered by the victims’ families and of the survivors of the hate crimes committed by the NSU. Through certain image politics, speech acts and direct actions, they managed to speak about the unspeakable—racism—and thus positioned themselves as resistant subjects.

In this context Güleç would like to offer and discuss the term ‘situated knowledge of the migrants’. It is the knowledge of those affected by racism, and the knowledge of the families of the NSU victims, which is the basis for actions that offer a crucial perspective on the NSU complex, and demands to be seen and heard. As they—individuals as well as collectives—act and speak, they continuously produce empowering narratives that offer other political, aesthetic, social and emotional orientations and perspectives.

Ayse Güleç studied social education/social work at the University of Kassel and has been working at the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof e.V. cultural centre since 1998. The focus of her work is migrants and (inter-) cultural communication. She is involved in the development of self-organised initiatives in the areas of gender, migration and anti-racism. Güleç developed the documenta 12 advisory board and consequently became its spokeswoman. She became a member of the Maybe Education Group at dOCUMENTA (13). She is currently responsible for community liaison in the office of the artistic director of documenta 14 in Kassel. Publications include: “Fordern, überfordern, verweigern. Bild- und Raumpolitik(en) in der Migra- tionsgesellschaft,” in Zülfukar Çetin, Savaş Taş,ed.: Gespräche über Rassismus. Perspektiven & Wider- stände, March 2015, pp. 189–216; Kunstvermittlung – Arbeit mit dem Publikum, Öffnung der Institutionen. Formate und Methoden der Kunstvermittlung auf der documenta 12, diaphanes, Berlin, 2009.