The Flag

2006 | 00:09:01 | Turkey | English | Color | Stereo

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Body, Eastern European, Middle East, Music, Performance, Politics

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"The Flag is the second part of a video series about the state-controlled national day ceremonies of the Turkish Republic. Shot during the April 23rd Children’s Day celebrations, which mark the establishment of the new Turkish Parliament, and hence the official demise of the Ottoman Empire back in 1920, this split screen film documents a pompous patriotic performance devised by elders to be performed by children. Hosted by the mayor and governor of Istanbul, with the participation of a high ranking general, the ceremony features poems and oaths read out loud by primary schools students, while patriotism becomes a hard-lined nationalism. One of them; The Flag is recited passionately by a girl who vows to “destroy the nest of any bird who doesn’t salute [her country’s] flag in flight” and “dig the grave of anyone who doesn’t look at the flag the way [she does].”"

--Köken Ergun

"Köken Ergun makes a very direct but discrete visualisation of an event, an artistic commentary to the specific political context of Turkey which becomes a universal commentary on ultra-nationalism. His visual strategy enables a new reading of the surviving imagery of 20th Century state rituals."

--Videomedeja 2007 

Exhibitions + Festivals

Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Switzerland, 2011

Athens International Film and Video Festival, Ohio, 2008