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Özgür Çiçek

Dr. Özgür Çiçek is a film scholar who defended her PhD dissertation in 2016 at Binghamton University, Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture Program. Her PhD research is on Kurdish Cinema produced in Turkey, and it draws upon theories in film studies, national and transnational cinema theories, minor literature and minor cinema frameworks, documentary studies, and memory and archive studies. For her PhD research she conducted interviews with various Kurdish filmmakers, as well as with the officials of Kurdish art and culture centers, Kurdish film festival organizers, and with the directors of Kurdish conservatories and film schools. She also researched on the impact of Kurdish oral culture on Kurdish cinematic representation.

After conducting her research on Kurdish cinema produced in Turkey, with the scholarship at Zem Dr. Çiçek will explore Kurdish filmmaking in Germany. A historical survey of Kurdish film festivals organized in Germany, such as those in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Cologne would reveal the variety of films screened, as well as the annual audience figures, sponsorships, and the impact of the awards that are given in these festivals. With this research a history of Kurdish film production in Germany can be explored and revealed, and this will be assessed with the research she already conducted in Turkey.

In the meantime she will explore the stylistic and the aesthetic forms of Kurdish films produced in Germany. Through researching on filmmakers like Ayşe Polat, Miraz Bezar, Yüksel Yavuz, Mehmet Aktas, and Ekrem Heydo she will pursue a closer examination on questions like how does migration from Turkey or Kurdistan to Germany reveal itself in Kurdish fiction and documentaries? How are different cities in Germany, and their cultural landscapes represented from the Kurdish perspective? And how do the different political and cultural spheres of Turkey and Germany are exposed in Kurdish films’ visual and vocal aesthetics? Furthermore, the impact of German-Kurdish cinematic representation on Kurdish cultural memory studies will be questioned under this category as well.

In addition to these points, she will question what could be the other channels that function as a medium for creating a visual and vocal archive for the Kurdish people. For instance, which Kurdish TV channels, web channels, radio channels, or newspapers could keep the history of Kurdish agenda in their archives? How are these Kurdish historical materials preserved or put into use? What kind of obstacles do these channels face in Germany? And, more importantly, how do the current and ongoing changes in the political practices motivate the emergence of different channels for Kurdish representation?