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.