5/5/21 12:00-1:30 pm – Asya Sagnak- “Mortal Bodies, Immortal Song: Performing Hunger and Revelation in the Turkish Death Fast”

Please join the Theater and Performance Studies Workshop for:

Asya Sagnak

MAPH Student, Theater and Performance Studies| University of Chicago

Who will Present:

Mortal Bodies, Immortal Song: Performing Hunger and Revelation in the Turkish Death Fast

Respondent: Fabien Maltais-Bayda, Ph.D. Student in English/TAPS, University of Chicago

Wednesday, May 5,

12:00 – 1:30 PM CT

Please register HERE to receive a link for the workshop. Pre-circulated paper available HERE .

We are committed to making our workshop fully accessible to persons with disabilities. Please direct any questions or concerns to the workshop coordinators, Arianna Gass (ariannagass@uchicago.edu) and Catrin Dowd (catrindowd@uchicago.edu).

ABSTRACT: 323 days on hunger strike: this is the Turkish death fast, a grotesquely elongated strike currently being undertaken by members of the leftist folk band Grup Yorum in pursuit only of freedom to perform under the ever-tightening grip of authoritarian leadership. By understanding the death fast as a resonant performance of death as opposed to an always-already failed political demand, I test the potential for futurity and life-granting impact in a genre of protest that takes, as its starting point, the annihilation of life and body. I examine the effacement of the individual body in deference to the body politic, the collective body of solidarity—an abnegation that is imbued with particularly provocative meaning in an Islamic country that finds collective pride and purpose through the fasting rituals of Ramadan. What are the narratives of resistance and secular martyrdom that are created by this displacement of God for the God-like image of leftist solidarity?

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