This article explores the concepts of state pornography and resistance erotics respectively in order to understand the visual frames that the state aims to institute in regard to Kurdish bodies and the ways in which Kurds interrupt such frames. It dwells on three modalities of state pornography. The first concerns the Diyarbakır Prison, where thousands of Kurds were imprisoned during the 1980–84 military rule. Here, the state created a particular scopic and corporal regime of violence and tried to symbolically give rebirth to Kurds as Turks. The second modality develops with the arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the PKK, and becomes a dominant form in the following years. This modality depicts the project of assimilation as swallowing and digesting. The final modality emerges after the collapse of the peace process between the Turkish state and the PKK in 2015. Here, Kurds become an excess in the body of the state to be thrown up, defecated, and released through masturbation, with no place in the nation, its schools, or its graveyards.
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Nazan Üstündağ; Pornographic State and Erotic Resistance. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2019; 118 (1): 95–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-7281624
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