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The Politics of Life and Death at Istanbul’s Food Banks

Dezember 4, 2019@7:00 pm9:00 pm

Through an analysis of two state-created and state-managed databases that assess the applicants’ eligibility, I will explore how the two fundamental components of biopolitics – ‘making live’ and ‘letting die’ – are interlaced in Istanbul’s food banks. After a discussion of what food banks are and how they got to Istanbul, I will introduce the databases and how access to food banks are streamlined through them. Next, I will talk about mechanisms of data collection and management and elaborate on various resistance methods the applicants use to contest the information recorded in the databases. I will conclude by arguing that first the databases both accumulate, concentrate and disperse power, thus making those responsible for granting/denying access to food banks invisible; and in conjunction, second, the transfer of the sovereign’s right and ability of ‚letting die‘ to the market mechanisms has enabled the elimination of social, economic and/or political ‚undesirables‘.

Candan Turkkan is an assistant professor at Özyeğin University (Istanbul/TR) Department of Gastronomy and Culinary Arts. She works on questions concerning urban food politics, critiques of capitalism (via global food movements and sustainability discussions) and mentalities of government (particularly of contemporary forms of neoliberalism, biopolitics and necroeconomics). She holds a PhD degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in political science (political theory) and a certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.



Dezember 4, 2019
7:00 pm-9:00 pm