This article, based on ethnography conducted in Istanbul, focuses on
the experience of the political among young, far-left Turkish militants and young
adults whose parents belong to the ’78 revolutionary generation. It shows how
their ‘red youth subculture’ is imbricated with family, solidarity and generational
bonds. Through the analysis of ritualised political practices such as the May
Day parades, the feeling of nostalgia for a never-lived past, political meetings
and the role of politics in families, it argues that the experience of the political
is irreducible to a set of strategies and ideas: it consists of affections, corporeal
sensations, embodied knowledge, aesthetic choices and material culture, which
all contribute to substantialise relationships with the state, forms of intimacy and
practices of distinction.
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