Gezi Park and the Transformative Power of Art

ROAR Editorial: Gezi and the Spirit of Revolt (2014)
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Abstract

. This paper discusses the transformative power of aesthetic narrative within the framework of Nietzsche’s theory of transvaluation. The transformative power of creative narrative is the power to give meaning to life’s activity by keeping ahead of forces that would deny it. The power of aesthetic transvaluation plays a fundamental role in the dynamic of the resistance movement that sprang from the Gezi Park sit-ins. The movement erupted with an aesthetic intensity that surprised detractors as well as supporters, employing aesthetic creativity in a way that sets it apart from other protests in Turkey and the Arab world. On several levels, the young movement has become a form of artistic protest. Striking parallels are found in Nietzsche’s aesthetic claim that the existential transformation of one’s narrative is the principle aim of the artist and the dynamic action of the people in Turkey who resist what they feel is an encroachment on their democratic rights and their way of life. The point of the essay, however, is not merely to illustrate the parallels. It is to examine how aesthetic imagination plays a role in forming a narrative that conjures meaning solely through creative fiat, showing how the power of transvaluation is manifested in the Gezi Park resistance.

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Stephen Snyder
Tbilisi State University

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