Project Description

A project at the Section for Intercultural Literature and Media Studies at the Department for German Studies at the University of Hamburg in cooperation with the Department for German Studies at the Istanbul University.

Ideas of Turkey in Germany are often nourished by firmly held opinions and stereotypical images. Turkey is perceived as a country at the edge of Europe. But it is necessary to realize, that as a result of migration, Turkey is simultaneously located in the middle of Germany. Migration thus cannot only be understood as a cultural change for those leaving their homeland for another country. It inevitably initiates a socio-cultural transformation in the receiving country.

In Germany as well as in Turkey there is a long tradition of films that offer a narrative representation of migration. But it was not until the success of Fatih Akın's HEAD-ON (2004) and Yasemin Şamdereli's ALMANYA – WELCOME TO GERMANY (2011) that German-Turkish migration films reached a wider audience. They open the possibility for the spectator to imagine and reflect on the psychosocial implications of migration. But, above all, these films offer the chance to feel emotionally involved and therefore see migration as a 'shared experience'.

This research project examines German-Turkish and Turkish films from a collection of more than 500 productions on the topic of migration and re-migration. The driving question is which and to what extent, cinematic strategies are successful in inspiring an emotional response within the spectator, thus bringing the problems of migration closer to the surface and even making it possible to identify with 'the other side's experience'. The findings of the study will be presented to a wider audience through a monograph, an exhibition, and a lexicon about German-Turkish and Turkish films on migration. In this scope, the study wants to offer a deeper understanding of Turkey while simultaneously revealing the place of migration as an integral part of German inter-culture.




Prof. Dr. Ortrud Gutjahr
Universität Hamburg, Institut für Germanistik
Von-Melle-Park 6
20146 Hamburg
+49 40 42838 2755