The Soundtrack of Social Movements among Kurdish Alevi Immigrant from Turkey in Germany

Ozan Aksoy


Based on a multi-sited ethnographic research between 2010 and 2013, this article asserts that Kurdish and Alevi social movements in Turkey and in the transnational space have relied heavily on music and activist musicians to engage community members. This article marks several key songs, musicians, and events that effectively formed the soundtrack for these movements. Kurdish Alevi cultural entrepreneurs in Germany and Istanbul have established a transnational social field in which they can relate to members from those communities living in multiple locations. This multiplicity results from simultaneous politicization processes of Alevi and Kurdish movements that have allowed old and new actors to engage with political and social capital along with symbolic capital through cultural and religious activism around multiple identities. The transnational space has allowed new actors to employ different means to serve their main political goals: cultural, musical, and those of other art forms, along with public campaigns to mobilize activists. Therefore, cultural entrepreneurs and other religio-political actors have been navigating in this transnational space while reformulating their political demands.


Kurdish Diaspora, Germany, Alevi, Music

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