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Ateş Alpar

Everyday life is one of the spaces where the reproduction of inequalities and practices of discrimination are the most visible. This process is experienced ever more starkly in regions where land is invaded and the power of imagination is injured. Colonial paranoia perceives of all difference that it does not find “acceptable” as a threat. This paranoia oozes into every level of social relations, deepening the cracks. Under such conditions, the most ordinary of actions – like speaking – might be enough to attract the wrong kind of attention. The path towards silencing is built in this way.

The prohibition of language disrupts the function of the whole body as the desire to speak is repressed. During this process, the decision not to speak becomes a form of resistance. The will to silence signifies the Subject’s search for unity between language and body. At other times, the ability to speak can be lost unwillingly. Lips move but no words come out. Words cannot come out. This is how, as Sara Ahmed observes, one moves away from what is felt as the source of pain, which feels like moving away from the pain itself. In both situations, “the impossibility of ‘collective feelings’ is the affirmation of individual fragility.”

Silence, whether voluntary or involuntary, increases the burden that the eyes carry. Absent of speech, the eyes, having become an instrument for another kind of communication, are the first place where the capacity to influence and be influenced are first observed. The (personal) history found in the eyes causes silence to be pierced by a glance in the search for dialogue. During the creation of a new language, the glance frames the word. Even though the glance (the word) is disrupted momentarily, as thoughts and emotions are communicated. The suspension of verbal communication is not the realisation of the fantasy of silencing, but the weight of what we carry.

Ateş Alpar

Ateş Alpar was Born in Mardin/Nusaybin. Their works focus on photography, visual sociology, cinema and music. As a visiting student at Mimar Sinan University, they attended courses on the philosophy of art, visual sociology and politics. In the field of contemporary documentary photography, Alpar produces videos, performances and photographic stories by focusing on topics such as migration, border, identity, social movements, collective memory, politics, underground music and LGBTI+/queer. Ateş Alpar currently lives in Mardin and Adana.