Research Line 1

Contemporary Urban Art, Knowledge, and the Challenges of Postcolonial Aesthetics:

In this research, on the one hand, creative practices are observed by considering the resources and sociopolitical context of the cultural (re)production technologies and media effects. On the other hand, art is related to the universality of democratic ideals, aesthetics, and social reflections upon the cultural context in today’s globalized world. Numerous visual manifestations such as media, cinematography, art exhibitions, and visual culture aim to discuss cultural diversity. In this way, an investigation of non-Western nations that seek a break with hegemonic Western forms of globalization involving aesthetics is conducted. Therefore, some of the postcolonial theorists reference the Frankfurt School’s critical and aesthetic theories, such as Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, or German philosophy and literature, such as Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Schiller, as a foundation, as well as some references from the French school, especially Michel Foucault, that are related to the postcolonial reality, to support an epistemological conception. Thus, it is considered a challenge for postcolonial studies to overcome the generalized notions of modern European knowledge.

Therefore, the analysis of postcolonial aesthetics and global media images present essential values highlighting sociopolitical themes by appropriating modern and contemporary artworks. In addition, it is not necessarily the case that the sociopolitical meanings of images are politically exercised within this context. Instead, these meanings are contained in the politics themselves. Some artworks and themes allude to the freedom of expression, ethics, and democracy and, in doing so, question fundamental human values in modern and contemporary art. In this sense, this research line concentrates upon the importance of human existence in global visual media concerning their impact on international politics. Therefore, as far as ethics and aesthetics can be questioned, are they represented by the search for “truth” in the images, or are they simply alterations in the formal diversity of the creations?

This question clarifies that the connections between aesthetic experience and politics do not form autonomous discourses when political activity is seen as part of this reality. That is because the sensitive aspects of the media images include the content and thus the political subject. The focus is on the actualization of aesthetics through postcolonial reasoning and contemporary discussions that feature cultural diversity, recognizing that Otherness is represented in various artistic forms.