The first protest fest

The First Gasman Festival

By Cornucopia Blog | July 6, 2013


Tens of thousands will descend on the docks of Kadıköy on Sunday evening for the First Gasman Festival (Gazdanadam Festivalı), inspired by the dramatic use of pepper gas in Taksim Square and elsewhere across the country in June. Thrown together with all the energy unleashed by Gezi Park, it kicks off at 5.30pm. There is nowhere better to taste the explosion of creativity – musical and otherwise – that has overtaken Istanbul.

Gutsy, Izmir-born Hakan Vreskala will be there. His wild Dağılın Lan (Scatter, Boys) (above) became a leitmotif of the Gezi Park movement after he took it to the barricades of Gümüşsuyu. He is joined by, among others, the rock veterans Bulutsuzluk Özlemi (translatable as Oh for a Cloudless Sky) and the calming melancholy of Feridun Düzağaç and Yaşar Kurt.
 
The lineup includes Beşiktaş-based reggae band Sattas (above), the Fötr Blues Band, who cancelled all engagements once the protests began ('We are in the meydan'), Kurtalan Ekspres (founded by the legendary Barış Manço back in 1972) and Grup Eflatun. The Kadıköy rıhtım (quay) will be equipped with huge screens and giant mock-ups of pepper-gas capsules and TOMAs (the homemade social-control units that made such a profound splash in June).
 
Cem Adrian, Güvenç Dağüstün, Burcu Uyar and Selva Erener will sing Fazıl Say's moving İnsan İnsan. We await the opera.
 
Other names familiar from the Gezi Park protests will be the Boğazici Jazz Choir.
 
And the delightful Çapulcular Korusu. 
 
The Mir Sanat Topluluğu will be dancing and the fashion designer Barbaros Şansal, who was badly beaten up for supporting the protests last month, will be staging a chapulchu–police-themed fashion show. And there will be much much more besides...
 
This evening, as this blog is being posted, crowds are gathering in Gezi Park to celebrate. Plans to build there had actually been quashed by a court order some weeks ago. It was just that someone had forgotten to pass the news on.
 
Anyway, it seems to make not a jot of difference. TOMAs are hosing down İstiklal Caddesi once more. Oh my, oh my.
 
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Protest Music
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