Performing a political identity usually involves more than just casting a vote. For Left-wingers in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus – countries that emerged as the only non-socialist constituents of South-eastern Europe after WWII – political preference meant immersion to distinct ways of life, to ‘cultures’: in times of dictatorship or persecution, the desire to find alternative ways to express themselves gave content to these cultures. In times of political normality, it was the echoes of such memories of precarity and loss that took the lead. This book explores the intersection between the politics and cultures of the Left since the sixties in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. With the use of 12 case studies, the contributors expose the moments in which the Left has been claimed and performed, not only through political manifestos and traditional political boundaries, but also through corporeal acts, discursive practices and affective encounters. These are all transformed into distinct modalities of everyday life and conduct, which are commemorated, narrated or sung, versed, painted, or captured in photographic images and on reels of tape. By focusing on culture and performance, this book highlights the complex link between nationalism and internationalism in left-wing cultures, and illuminates the entanglements between the ways in which left-wingers experienced transitions from dictatorship to democracy and vice versa. As the first book to analyse cultures and performances of the Left in the three countries, The Politics of Culture in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus causes a rethinking of the boundaries of political practice and fosters new understandings of the formation of diverse expressions of the Left. As such, it will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of cultural and social anthropology, modern European history and political science.
Politics of Culture in Turkey, Greece & Cyprus Performing the Left Since the Sixties