Master 2017, Sefa Pala
Sefa Pala’s sociological research on Arabesque music in Germany spans a book, a video, and an installation. The book represents the theoretical portion of his work, describing the origins of Arabesque (and the surrounding culture) in 1930s Turkey and its transportation to Germany starting in the 1960s. German Arabesque evokes an intriguing blend of melancholy, homesickness, and yearning for a lost identity. Pala’s work explores the following questions: How did Arabesque come into being? Who are its pioneers? How did Arabesque become a widespread phenomenon? What is macho culture? Who are the “babas”, divas, and child singers prominent in this musical genre? Pala’s film incorporates Arabesque music videos, clips of Arabesque films, and interviews with the sociologist Senem Börekci and Cem Sultan Ungan, an actor and co-founder of the Arabesque group Kirmizi Güller. Pala’s installation showcases objects associated with Arabesque music.