Laugh and Resist! Humor and Satire Use in the Gezi Resistance Movement

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Yeşim Kaptan Kent State University, School of Communication Studies

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This article focuses on the local humor employed in the Gezi Park Protests, one of the most widespread protests in the history of modern Turkey. By analyzing examples of widely circulated graffiti in the social media during and after the Gezi Park protests, I explore the role of socio-cultural and political humor in the protests as a form of resistance, which is intertwined in many ways with local popular culture, as well as global cultural forms of resistance used in anti-capitalist movements such as the Occupy Wall Street movement and public protests in Greece, Egypt, Algeria, and Spain. The humor and laughter in political processes manifests relation to traditional Turkish cultural forms. However, context-bounded humor originating from local meanings and traditional folk stories in the humorous graffiti of the Gezi Protests is considered not only an artistic and creative form of opposition to the conservative-religious akp government, but also a local response to global capitalism.

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