Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-16-2017



This paper examines how Fatih Akin’s film Head-On/Gegen die Wand (2004), Feo Aladağ’s film When We Leave/Die Fremde (2010), and Feridun Zaimoğlu’s text Kanak Spraak construct a new Turkish-German identity that is established through resistance to a homogenously imagined culture. With the current influx of immigrants to Germany, the debate about integration, hybridity, and divergence has become more important than ever. The emergence of hybrid migrant identities that are being problematized in Turkish-German movies and texts has shown that issues of belonging and identity caused by multipositionality have become an integral part of Turkish-German narratives. Over time, representations have shifted from the outsider and/or the oppressed victim to ‘hyphenated nationals’ caught between two or more worlds: a repressing tradition and a space to escape in the form of an imagined utopian 'home'. The diasporic identity of the protagonists in both films illustrates the problematic situation of first- and second generation Turkish-Germans. The construction of home spaces with respect to their multipositionality is evident in the visual representation of both films. These representations focus on the characters’ newly established resisting identities and engage in questions of identity in correlation with space and home (Heimat). Both films and the text represent different forms of resisting identities in second and third generation Turkish-Germans. This new self-defined identity results from resistance against heteronomous positioning and opens up the homogenous cultural identity projection.

Document Type




Degree Name

German Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Committee Member (Chair)

Katrin Schröter

Second Committee Member

Susanne Baackmann

Third Committee Member

Jason Wilby