On the Aesthetic Regime of Kurdish Cinema: The Making of Kurdishness

Bahar Şimşek

Research output: Thesispromoter, other


Through my investigation, I expose the multiple layers of Kurdish cinema constructed by Kurdish films and directors, by academics working on Kurdish cinema, by Kurdish institutions, and by contemporary artists. By employing a content analysis of films in Kurdish languages, identifying Kurdish directors as agents of history making, and investigating attempts to institutionalize Kurdish cinema, I address the Kurdish presupposition of equality to act in an aesthetic regime of art. I structure my research under three chapters: ‘A Foundation of Kurdish National Cinema’, ‘A Re-interpretation of Kurdish Trauma’, and ‘An Aesthetic Regime of Kurdishness’. Based on the detailed discussion, across these three chapters, of national cinema, the art of the un-representable, and digital revolution, I aim to reveal the necessity of exploring the aesthetics regime of Kurdishness in audio-visual terms, in order to articulate the subjectification processes leading to an ethical community in the name of Rancièrian democratic politics.I posit cinema as a home for the communicative act that will empower speech and thought for the Kurdish social body. It does so by folding the future into the present through an aesthetic regime of imperfect, mobile audio-visual assemblages.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Leiden University
  • Jongerden, Joost, Co-promotor
  • Zürcher, Erik‐Jan, Promotor, External person
Award date4 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

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