Intermedial Solidarity: Drawing Inspiration from the 1970s

Deniz Göktürk


This essay reframes Aras Ören’s epic poems, most prominently Was will Niyazi in der Naunynstraße [What is Niyazi up to in Naunynstraße] (1973), in the context of a multimedia aesthetic project combining poetry, dramatic acting, and documentary to conceive the city as a dynamic site of migration, contact, and change. The poems are analyzed in conjunction with a related but lesser-known television film that was produced by Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) as a collaboration between Ören and the director Friedrich W. Zimmermann, Frau Kutzer und andere Bewohner der Naunynstraße [Frau Kutzer and Other Residents of Naunynstraße] (1973). Göktürk teases out resonances between this intermedial collaboration and media-theoretical conceptualizations of an actively engaged reader-viewer-subject as discussed by Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, and Hans Magnus Enzensberger, arguing that self-ironic agency of those portrayed is crucial for the potential activation of spectators to imagine solidarity beyond paternalist talking down or melodramatic pitifulness. (DG)

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