Past Not-So-Perfect: Ararat and Its Reception in Turkey

Koksal, O. 2014. Past Not-So-Perfect: Ararat and Its Reception in Turkey. Cinema Journal. 54 (1), pp. 45-64. https://doi.org/10.1353/cj.2014.0069

TitlePast Not-So-Perfect: Ararat and Its Reception in Turkey
TypeJournal article
AuthorsKoksal, O.
Abstract

This article examines Atom Egoyan’s 2020 film "Ararat", a film that deals with the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and its effects on later generations, in relation to its reception in contemporary Turkey, country where the genocide took place. The article, publication of which coincided with the centenary of the genocide, was published in the Cinema Journal, one of the most important film studies journals in the United States.
"Ararat" even before it was released in 2002, caused heated debates in Turkey and elsewhere as a result of its subject matter. The event is widely referred as genocide in literature but is denied in Turkey. This article focuses on the mechanisms of denial and the rhetoric it produces by looking at the problematic reception of the film in Turkey.

The methodology differentiates this article from similar publications, both on the topic on Armenian Genocide as well as scholarly work written on the film itself. Rigorous and careful analysis of the rhetoric produced on the film by journalists, opinion leaders, as well as academics in Turkey, is juxtaposed with the close analyses of key scenes from the film that were either taken out of context and/or ignored to be able to produce denialist rhetoric. Such approach allows the discussion to paint a picture of politics of memory in contemporary Turkey as well as offering a novel approach to analysing similar historical events and their representation in visual culture.
Parts of this article was later reworked to form the chapter four of the manuscript "Aesthetics of Displacement". Although there are shared aspects, the article is half the length of the chapter in the manuscript and differs from the said chapter as it specifically focuses on the film’s reception in Turkey.

KeywordsAtom Egoyan; Ararat; Armenian Genocide; Memory and Film
JournalCinema Journal
Journal citation54 (1), pp. 45-64
ISSN0009-7101
Year2014
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1353/cj.2014.0069
Publication dates
Published09 Nov 2014

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Koksal, O. and Rappas-Celik, I.A. 2019. A Hand that Holds a Machete: Race and the Representation of the Displaced in Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan. Third Text. 33 (2), pp. 256-267. https://doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2019.1590067

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Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/q2845/past-not-so-perfect-ararat-and-its-reception-in-turkey


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