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Don't Do It Wrong, 2007

For the past one hundred years, Turkish schools, during the first five years of primary education, have begun each day with a military ceremony of pledging allegiance and flag raising. The ritual affirms a national essence that builds upon and is encouraged by a sense of belonging: a certain idea of ‘us’. Katarina Zdjelar records the ceremony at a primary school in Istanbul, a ritual led by the school’s headmaster and teachers. Her camera reveals how, although carrying the flag seems to be a privilege, it is physically too heavy for a child of this age and a girl has a panic attack. Once in place, the pupils, oblivious to what has happened, sing the Turkish national anthem and recite an oath of allegiance to Atatürk, the nation's founder, promising to keep his legacy alive and love their country more than themselves. How are collective identities formed? How is power imposed and exercised? Even though they are purely descriptive, Zdjelar's images raise relevant questions.

Technical details

Original title:
Don't Do It Wrong
Registration number:
Zdjelar, Katarina
Date created:
Date acquired:
On display
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, colour, sound, 10 min 13 s
Edition number:
Ed. 1/5 + 2 P.A.
Meier Building, Level 1
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Katarina Zdjelar
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