Feminist Creative Processes in Transnational Kurdish Communities

Dr Ceren Ozpinar (University of Brighton)

5:30 to 7pm, Wednesday 16th March 2022 (online)

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Dispossessed and dispersed across the world the unsettling histories and experiences of transnational communities are often transmitted across the borders through the circulation of collective and individual memories. Histories of oppression and loss in Kurdish communities are enmeshed in such intertwined pasts of violence, which have been sustained and reformed through displacement and oppression during intense nation-building projects in the Middle East. This seminar will focus on feminist creative processes which help makers tell the stories of war, resistance, and conflict of transnational Kurdish communities. Exploring the promises that the term “transnational” offers for building alternative political futures, it will consider the art experimented beyond the limits of nations and national narratives. Undercutting expectations and assumptions about feminist agency and creative process, these works act as sites of dissent and remembering, while demanding answers for burdened pasts and presents.

Dr Ceren Özpınar is a historian specialising in art, visual culture, historiography and exhibitions in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her research focuses on the relationship between gender, identity and art since 1960 with a special focus on Turkey and the Middle East. Ceren’s research interests lie in three key areas: Revisiting art histories; investigating transnational feminist alliances in the wider Middle Eastern geography; and an examination of curatorial strategies and discourses of large-scale exhibitions, such as retrospectives and biennials, in the Global South.

Ceren’s research has received funding from British, American and Turkish learned societies and research bodies (British Academy’s Newton International Fellowship, 2015; Getty Foundation’s CAA Program Award, 2016, 2017 and 2020; TUBITAK’s Doctoral Research Fellowship, 2013). In 2020, Ceren was awarded a Rising Star, which is one of the University of Brighton’s research awards, for her project “Where Matter Meets Memory: Alternative Political Futures in Kurdish Art Today.” Ceren’s project investigates the creative works produced within the diasporic Kurdish communities.