Gezi Assemblages: Embodied Encounters in the Making of an Alternative Space

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ABSTRACT

The article aspires to make a claim for the potential of the Deleuze-Guattarian concept of assemblage (agencement) to account for the Occupy Movements in general and 2013 Turkey Gezi Movement in particular. Throughout the article, it is claimed that the concept of agencement provides us with useful tools to elucidate the constitution of a new dissident community in Gezi Park and the subsequent park assemblies. Special emphasis will be put on the capacity of the concept to account for the embodied and embedded nature of the Gezi Movement, an argument further supported by data coming from participatory observations throughout different phases of the mobilization, 23 in depth interviews with activists from different political backgrounds and minutes of the park assemblies. Although the concept of assemblage has started to be used in the analysis of social movements (Bennett, 2005; Chesters & Welsh, 2006; Lockie 2004; McFarlane, 2009; Rodriguez-Giralt, 2011, 2015; Rodriguez-Giralt & Marrero-Guillamón,2018), not much emphasis is given to the concepts of embodiment and body in assemblages. This article aspires to contribute to the literature by first underlining the importance of embodiment in the Gezi movement and second elucidating it with respect to the concept of body in the original use of the term of assemblage by Deleuze and Guattari (1980).

Keywords: Occupy Movements, Gezi Movement, assemblage, network, body, embodiment