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Zeynep Devrim Gürsel

International Studies | Macalester College
Presentation: "The Unbearable Visuality of the News"

Zeynep Devrim Gürsel received her PhD in Anthropology with a Designated Emphasis in Film Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.  Her scholarship involves both the analysis and production of images. 

Her book manuscript, Image Brokers, is based on fieldwork conducted in the United States, France and Turkey; it focuses on the production, distribution, and circulation of international news images and the changing cultures of photojournalism after the digital turn.  Specifically it addresses the labor and infrastructures behind news images.  

Her next project investigates photography as a tool of governmentality in the late Ottoman Empire.  She has published in Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist, Anthropology Now and Jadaliyya and has contributed chapters to volumes on global news and journalism, photography and memory, and visual cultures of nongovernmental activism.  

She is the director and co-producer of Coffee Futures (2009), the first in a series of short ethnographic films that explore contemporary Turkish politics through the prism of the everyday lives of women. Coffee Futures has been shown at numerous universities and film festivals in over twenty countries, and continues to be screened by academics, politicians and bureaucrats.


Turkey National Will Rally ImageOn June 16, 2013 then Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey held a National Will Rally.  As he addressed tens of thousands supporters while, 10 km away, police forcibly removed protestors from Taksim’s Gezi Park where they had been peacefully protesting for more than two weeks.  Erdogan told the crowd. “I understand that at this moment the world is watching us and listening to us” and then continued with this excerpt in which he presents “a photograph of Turkey.”