Revolution I love You

Single Channel video, 17:13min (excerpt 6:45min), 2011

Suat Ogut “political” album titled Revolution I Love You is reproduced in 500 copies for the exhibition. It is prefect in every sense. The content is as follows: 1 The Irreligious State ( in the Nihavent mode of Turkish music),  2-Down With Ali Garisi (in the Nihavent mode) {Ali Garisi (lit. Woman Ali) being a mispronunciation of the word Oligarsi, oligarchy} 3- Let’s Call It A Day For Cute Democracy (in the Hüzzam mode), 4-Revolution I Love You (in the Hüzzam mode), 5- Yankee Go Home! (in the Rast mode), 6- The Fascist Junta Will Be Held Responsible! (in the Hicaz mode). Let us begin with Ali Garisi.  The Ali Garisi legend is an anecdote retold in Zeki Kirdemir’s (Guerilla Zeki)  bok The Rovolution Became Us: The Story of the ’78 generation from Jail to Hard Times. The year is 1976. A rally is being held in the hazelnut-farming region. Revolutionaries are about the protest, shoulder with villagers at Bulancak Republic Square (Giresun). The slogans are known: “Down With Oligarchy! Long Live Independent Turkey!” Zeki Kirdemir is on the platform. It’s about the rain. An older man in the front rows joins the slogans shouting, “Down With Ali Garisi!” (lit. Woman Ali) When the rally is over, he turns to the young militants to ask: “Excuse me, young men, down with Ali Garisi, but why?” And the drenched young men reply: “Not Ali Garisi uncle, oligarchy.” Then they begin to explain what oligarchy is to the old man. The man says, “Now I’ve understood,” and continues:  “Alright, down with those exploiters, but what has Ali Garisi done?” Perhaps the most sinister among the slogans in Ogut’s arrangement is “Let’s Call It A Day For Cute Democracy!” So they do not dent that democracy does have “cute” aspects, the word “cici” in Turkish means “not naughty, nice,” in child speak. It also contains elements of clean, agreeable, sympathetic, amiable and beautiful. The slogan corresponds to a time when parliamentarian democracy was described as cute democracy. It is also a reference, from the nationalist front of the left, to the mask of globalization imperialism carries. “Cute democracy” was in fact Ilhan Selcuk’s criticism of a multiparty movement. In an article dated October 6, 1969, Selcuk stated that it would be “careless to practice revolutionism with a view of the percentage of the vote a party got in election results. “According to Selcuk, the regime of 1961 Constitution in which the leftwing and socialist parties existed was called a “cute democracy”. The sound of Ogut’s album, that includes Haci Arif Bey, Mustafa…. , is filled with unforgettable details of recent history.

Sener Ozmen