Turbulent Zweisamkeit: Intersectional Turkish Marginality in a Multi-Kulti German Heimat

By Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This essay analyzes Fatih Akin’s German-Turkish cross-cultural drama Head On (2004) in the framework of the complicated and controversial phenomenon of German multiculturalism and its cultural selectivity. The celebrated cinematographic success and a multiple award winner, Head On focuses on the Turkish underworld of an urban culturally diverse German city, Hamburg. Using harsh and provocative Head On as a cultural and political text, this essay focuses on the currently problematic cross-cultural dynamics between the Germans and the Turks. Specifically, this essay addressed the interconnected concepts of Turkish identity (ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and religion) in their opposition to the German identity as decisive for turning a Turk into an undesired cultural alien in the German environment and establishing the selective nature of the German multiculturalism. This essay demonstrates how a unique German concept of Zweisamkeit (lonely/isolated togetherness) defines the German-Turkish cinematic dynamics and reflects the actual non-fictional relations between the respective groups in the arguably multicultural German society.

Keywords: Multiculturalism, European Film, Marginal Immigrant Identity, Cinematographic Representation, Cultural In-Between-ness

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 10, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.75-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 493.098KB).

Dr. Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Colorado State University, Fort Collins/Denver, Colorado, USA