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Lecture: Waiting for Closure: Enforced Disappearance and the Stretched-out Present in Turkish Kurdistan
September 15, 2017 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Dr. Omer Ozcan, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
This talk concerns practices of waiting that occur when people are placed outside of the protection of law. I traces life stories of Halit and Eyşan, a displaced elderly Kurdish couple, to discuss how the counterinsurgency practice of enforced disappearance, a distinct exercise of sovereign power, produces a specific form of waiting, which I call enforced waiting. I examine temporal effects of the prolonged armed conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on everyday life in Yuksekova where violence is not always instantaneous or spectacular but often gradual and uneventful. I argue that waiting in Kurdistan is intrinsic to sovereign practices and it is the embodiment of continuous and uneventful violence that disperses across time and space.