We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Superman, Clark Kent, and the Limits of the Gezi Uprising [Part 19 of 20: Reflections on the Gezi Uprising]

Click here to access article by Mehmet Döşemeci from Reflections on a Revolution. (Note: the term "çapulcus", which means "looters", refers to the government's slanderous word used to smear Turkish protesters who, in turn, adopted the term and transformed it into a proud identity.)

The author uses the popular theme Superman/Clark Kent that made an appearance in the Turkish protests of last summer as a metaphor to explain its strengths and weaknesses. 
What to make of these references to an American comic-book hero? Why did Turkish, especially middle class, protesters see themselves as Supermen? What does this self-fashioning reveal about the nature of the Turkish uprising?