Towards a creative critique of the “human”: Precarity, resistance and subversion experiences by a Kurdish feminist transvestite performer in Istanbul

Published: Dec 31, 2013
feminism cultural critique contingency embodied space Istanbul
Φωτεινή Τσιμπιρίδου

The present study deals with the case of Esmeray, a Kurdish transvestite from Kars, who immigrated to Istanbul in the 1980s. By examining her autobiographical film and her interviews, the performances she has delivered recently,
and also her activism as a “leftist feminist transvestite”, I will attempt to comment on her multiple experiences of discrimination and contingency. The later are shaped through multiple power relationships, hegemonies and displacements
in the megacity of Istanbul at the era of neo-liberal governmentality. By using social poetics, such as humor and sarcasm she is not only transforming negative living standards into reflexive cultural critique for the majority of the
Turkish society; she is thus also challenging us for a redefinition of the “human” on pluralist terms.

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