words                   


CULTURAL STUDIES M.A. THESIS, MARCH 2020 _ SABANCI UNIVERSITY

Abstract

This thesis uses research-creation methodology which integrates an aesthetic component as an integral part of the study. In 2018, I curated a contemporary art exhibition on HIV/AIDS in Istanbul with the participation of dominantly local artists, and this exhibition lays the ground of my research on HIV/AIDS. This written component of the research-creation, as separate but co-composed with the exhibition, doesn’t accept that facing HIV/AIDS as a traumatic event is a pre-given and natural reaction, and it analyzes the traumatic construction of HIV/AIDS. During the 1980s, HIV/AIDS was experienced for the first time as a collective and transnational trauma, and, as I argue, the historical traumatic affect structured during this first crisis still has a crucial influence on the contemporary subject. Regardless of the medical progress which made it possible to repress the HI virus, traumatic post-memory challenges the contemporary experience of HIV/AIDS in myriad forms including stigma, phobia, denial, and willful ignorance. Not only people living with HIV/AIDS but also queers born after the 1980s, who are historically thought to be the most affected people and vectors of the virus, are experiencing HIV/AIDS as a predetermined and structured affect. The first part of this thesis analyzes Turkish media discourses on HIV/AIDS and homosexuality during the 1980s to provide a glimpse of the genealogy of the trauma construction. The second part is interested in analyzing and challenging the contemporary traumatic affect of HIV/AIDS through personal experiences and readings of the artworks exhibited in Positive Space

                                                            GO TO THESIS