What is it about?

This article rests upon two kinds of deductions: first a lack of scholarly engagement within cultural constructs of religion in mainstream social movement studies; and the second, the quasi-religious aspects of occupy-like movement. These two problematics, one theoretical, and one ethnographic, are drawn together through Edith Turner’s conceptualization of communitas in light of the fieldwork findings derived from the encampment established at Istanbul’s Gezi Park in 2013.

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Why is it important?

I argue that the two-week process of Gezi may be considered as communitas in and through which quotidian routines are suspended and protest praxes sanctifying the space are performed. I further suggest that the episodic forms of protest performances we see at Gezi can be characterized as communitas or the commune repertoire (Author, 2020), because the sense in which it emerged enabled its actors to form rite-like assemblies to debate political and economic injustices, stage post-modern artistic performances, and perform counter-cultural activities


To see the indirect political and social implications of the post-2000 forms of collective action, it is, I suggest, necessary to decipher the cultural codes hidden in them. Because today’s social actors live in a cultural universe wherein the shared collective experience and senses have significance and functionality as much as that of political ideologies.

Poyraz Kolluoglu
Istanbul Aydin Universitesi

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Reimagining the Istanbul Encampment of 2013, Worldviews Global Religions Culture and Ecology, July 2023, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15685357-tat00008.
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