Turkish Protesters’ Performance Art
Following weeks of violence in Turkey between the nation’s police and protesters, a striking new tactic has emerged today in the form of performance art.
Performance artist and Turkish native, Erdem Gunduz, is reported as instigating the latest symbol of resistance. Standing serenely and silent within Taksim Square, facing the Ataturk Cultural Centre, he stood motionless and alone. The gesture has been dubbed the “Standing Man” and has inspired many similar acts of silent standing throughout the country.
Most recently, these “standing men” have been bringing with them reading material for these moments of prolonged, public reflection; injecting even more meaning into this passive resistance. As Al Jazeera reports, the book choices are far from random, rather, ‘The chosen reading material of many of those who take their stand is reflective, in part, of the thoughtfulness of those who have chosen this motionless protest to express their discontent.”
Those taking part in this performance art are becoming known as “The Taksim Square Book Club”. Commentators have suggested that the symbol of the book is a both one of quiet reflexion and also a reminder of the education deficit in the country which many attribute to government failings.