Don’t Do It Wrong

 

 The video »Don’t Do It Wrong« (10’13″, 2007) suggests how social rituals build and promote a sense of belonging and the creation of ‘we-ness’. In Turkey, (since the 1920’s) in the first five years of grade school education, classes begin with a vow that is repeated every morning, all together by every student to affirm the nationality, the Turkish-ness. Zdjelar traces this daily morning ritual in a primary school in Istanbul, which is conducted by the school director and the teachers. In a military-like ceremony, the students follow the choreography. To hold a flag is a special task, but it is too heavy for a boy, and a girl has a panic attack. But, once in their positions, the pupils sing the Turkish National Anthem, recite an oath by which they pledge to Ataturk, promising to keep his legacy alive, to love their country even more than themselves. The work investigates how the process of bonding and binding to one collective body occurs and focuses on the way that power is imposed and exercised. It aims to make visible the mechanism and invested effort of implementing a sense of national cohesion.