The Gezi Protests: Between Carnivalesque and Prefiguration

Salman, Sinan
This study analyzes the protest forms and practices of social movements built on the practice of occupying public spaces between 2011 and 2013 in the backdrop of the snowballing protest wave that began in 2008. It first traces the concept of carnival in the Bakhtinian perspective to understand how carnivalesque forms in squares revitalize everyday life in festival form and transform it into an opposition dynamic. Second, it examines the prefigurative practices in the squares to explore how prefiguration provides certain mechanisms for producing and reproducing desired social relations. I argue that the articulation of carnivalesque with prefiguration opens cracks since new forms of social relations, new ways of doing, and new ways of life have been established by the accumulation and proliferation of carnivalesque and prefigurative forms. In that regard, I focus on the Gezi Protests to discuss how these protest repertoires negate existing social relations and create alternative visions. This study mainly argues that intertwined spatiality and temporality of carnivalesque and prefiguration as cracks produce a time-space beyond existing relations by reconfiguring everyday life in a way that creates new political possibilities.


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Citation Formats
S. Salman, “The Gezi Protests: Between Carnivalesque and Prefiguration,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.