Tactical Appropriation: Creating Communities of Taste

What does it mean to share a common way of feeling? What is this kind of “withness” (Ahmed 2004) and how is it produced? As we want to argue, this sense of having something in common with others can be created in the affective interplay between audiovisual images and their spectators (cf. Kappelhoff 2015). One can describe it as the feeling of belonging to a community of taste. Such a community is neither a matter of drawing national, ethnical, or cultural borders nor of adding up individual spectators (cf. Nancy 2000). Communities of taste, as well as films, take a stance toward audiovisual culture. For example, the contemporary arthouse cinema defines itself in crass opposition to any sort of what is considered commercial, mainstream cinema (not to speak of TV). In comparison, the Camp movement is characterized by enthusiastically affirming precisely those images that others deem repulsive, kitsch, and excessive. Clearly, what is at stake here is not the individual and her/his emotional reactions, but rather specific modes of perception, common ways of relating to the world.
We would like to ask: how are these communities of taste created in the encounter between films and their spectators? In our presentation we want to closely focus on one film associated with the so-called Turkish German cinema: ALMANYA – WELCOME TO GERMANY by Yasemin Samdereli. We will analyze how the film appropriates popular genres and expressive patterns to establish new forms that connect its (socioculturally situated) audience to a plurality of audiovisual discourses. In doing this, the film offers an idea of what it might have felt like for people from Turkey to enter the West-German society – an idea that consists in outlining a particular place in popular culture and realizing this particularity in the audience’s concrete, affective viewing experience.

Nazlı Kilerci studied Film and Communication in Istanbul and Vienna and completed her Masters in Film Studies at Freie Universität of Berlin titled “Representation of Women in the Cinema of Turkey from 60s until 80ies”. Since 2015 July she is working for the research project „Migrant Melodramas and Culture Clash Comedies: Modulating a Turkish-German Sense of Commonality“ as a subproject of the CRC „Affective Societies“. Hauke Lehmann is a postdoctoral researcher in a subproject of the CRC Affective Societies at the Freie Universität Berlin: “Migrant Melodramas and Culture Clash Comedies: Modulating a Turkish-German Sense of Commonality” . Hauke Lehmann has studied film studies in Berlin and Prague. His PhD thesis will appear in 2016 under the title: “Splitting the Spectator. Suspense, Paranoia, and Melancholy in New Hollywood Cinema”. Latest publications include: “Rausch als filmisches Denkmodell – zur Analogie von Film und Bewusstsein” in: Cinema, Vol. 60 (2015), pp. 117-129; “Was die Welt zusammenhält. Figurationen des Sozialen in blindness” in: Alexandra Tacke (ed.): Blind Spots. Eine Filmgeschichte der Blindheit vom frühen Stummfilm bis in die Gegenwart, transcript: Bielefeld 2016, pp. 233-250.