DAI – Factory workshop

16th – 17th of December 2017, Oldebroek, the Netherlands

Factory workshop is leading up to the Planetary Campus activities curated by Galit Eilat on 20, 21 and 22 January 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In order to encourage and support the active participation and commitment of the students in and to the Roaming Assemblies, always on Sundays ( as part of DAI Weeks), the Factory offers a variety of workshops and seminars, always taking place on Saturday (again, as integral part of DAI Weeks). Occasionally The Factory will also offer autonomous worksessions with guests to further specific skills and knowledges. Team Planetary Campus is dedicated to facilitate preliminary seminars, workshops and other work meetings, led by guests: curators, speakers and performers as well as researchers, at a variety of locations.

The Factory workshop in Oldebroek led by Ayşe ÇavdarMerel Eimers, and Erden Kosova, and was an introduction to the methods, conceptual and historical background of  ‘Syndromes of the Present’ project. Erden Kosova gave an historical context to the contemporary debate on the 17th century Messianic movement of Sabbateans and the movement’s role in the modernisation dynamics in the late Ottoman and early Republican periods in Turkey. There will be comparisons with other heterodoxies in Turkish history and concepts like ‘takiyye’  will be focused on.

Erden Kosova in addition, deliver a seminar on the political discussions around contemporary art in Turkey and current frictions with the authoritarian regime and its Kulturkampf against the intellectual production in the country. There present visual materials of different periods and artistic positions.

“Alchemiafobia: What if I am converted?” – on the practice of Devsirme and the fear for converted Muslims.

Devsirme was a strategy to establish a military and bureaucratic ruling class loyal to the court and liberated from all kinds of social and historical ties. A Devsirme does not have any root in society. He is a complete alien. The Devsirme system had been the answer given by the Ottoman state to the reluctance of the Muslim Turkmen tribes to support the Ottoman Beys and Sultans in their fight for conquering new territories. Besides, the Ottomans often fought against the Turkmen tribes, too. In these occasions, how to be sure of the loyalty of the soldiers if they are Muslim Anatolians. Thus, in this system, Christian children were taken away from their families, relocated in the Muslim Turkmen foster families to learn Muslim customs. Later, they got the highest education in the Empire. The ones skilled in martial arts were becoming soldiers in the Janissary, while the remaining served in the bureaucracy. Enmity between “original Muslims” and “devsirme” was inevitable under these circumstances. Islamists, in the 19th century and today, have seen the “devsirme” practice as the main reason for the collapse of the Empire. There is a very lively political discourse in Islamism against the “converted” Muslims.  Ayşe Çavdar will discuss the psychological aspect of the fear of “devsirme”, which she has named as “alchemyfobia”.