Dancing in protest

How to save Istanbul

By John Scott | March 25, 2014


This little dance film by the Gezi Park Arts Collective says it all, with the wit and feeling the Gezi movement does so well.

The film begins and ends in Taksim Square. Everywhere is ‘earmarked’.

Is there no way of stopping the destruction? ‘Rebel, rebel,’ urges the brief voice over before leaving us to the dancers and their music.

As YouTube has been banned by the government, click here to see the video.

Produced for the Kentsel İsyan Projesi, locations include Sulukule (the once historic Land Walls quarter); Fener and Balat (on the Golden Horn, a UNESCO world heritage site: massive redevelopment has already destroyed neighouring Ayvansaray); Gezi Park (Taksim, to be turned into a shopping centre, scene of the massive 2013 protests); the Atatürk Cultural Centre (built in 1969, then the world’s fourth largest arts centre: restoration halted and due to be pulled down); Haydarpaşa Station (closed and for sale); the Kuzguncuk market gardens (700 years old, to be developed); the century-old Beşiktaş boat station (to be sold or leased off); Çamlıca Hill (Istanbul's highest point and hitherto a nature reserve, of importance as a bird migration point: also to be developed and dwarfed by new concrete ‘pastiche’ Ottoman mosque to be erected on top); Istanbul's ‘northern forests’ (destroyed to make way for a third Bosphorus bridge – and more development – and considered the city’s lungs); Terkoz Lake (the city’s chief drinking water source, site of  megolomanic new airport); the Emek Cinema (Istanbul’s oldest and most famous cinema, pulled down to make way for a shopping centre).

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