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Accepted Paper:

Practices and representation of conviviality and diversity in literary and filmic productions of Burgaz islanders of Istanbul  
Deniz Duru (Lund University)

Paper short abstract:

I explore how Burgaz islanders from diverse backgrounds live together, and represent their conviviality in their filmic and literary productions, by highlighting their acts of solidarity and conviviality during times of crisis, and by articulating a shared discourse of hope, and collective identity.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores the ways in which Burgaz islanders from diverse ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds live together, and represent their conviviality in their filmic and literary productions. Building on fieldwork in 2009-2010, followed by production interviews in 2021-2022, I analyse the novels the islanders wrote, the documentaries they filmed, interviewing the authors and documentaries’ producers, and the islanders’ reception of these productions. The islanders refer to the acts of solidarity and conviviality during times of crisis (such as the 1955 pogrom), by articulating a shared discourse of hope that emphasises their shared Burgaz identity and communal strength. The islanders described their diversity as ‘marbling’ (ebru in Turkish) in opposition to ‘mosaic’ where the patterns have distinct borders and are hence more vulnerable to destruction. In ebru, even though patterns still keep their distinctiveness, their boundaries fuse into each other and form a more solid picture as a whole. By paying attention to the everyday living and the words and metaphors/allegories the islanders use, I redevelop the concept of ‘conviviality’ to stress shared living, sense of belonging in a place, collective identity formation and acts of solidarity at times of crisis that bonds the population from different backgrounds, by criticising the emphasis on identity politics and politics of difference within multiculturalism theories. The paper argues that the islanders’ conceptualisation of their conviviality challenges liberal multiculturalism approach to difference as a basis to secure equality and rights, and Joppke and Luke’s (1999) description of society in the form of mosaic.

Panel P105
Conviviality in times of complex crises: translocal and transnational humanitarianism and its transformations
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -