Loosely based on a real political scandal that took place near the Anatolian town of Susurluk in Turkey in 1996, The Scar explores issues of patriarchy and female emancipation through a heady mix of conspiracy, gangster, noir, politics, crash theory, fantasy and reality.
The three-part, large-scale fiction film installation by international artists Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler, which premieres at HOME this month, pivots around four central characters: the Chief of Police, a Politician, an Assassin and a former beauty queen. Riding together in a black Mercedes on shady business, they are unware that they are heading for a car crash that will lead to the largest social protest in Turkish history.
Over the three chapters of the film, the men’s dominance and power becomes gradually destabilised by interruptions from their previously silenced female co-passenger, Yenge, and ‘The Resistant Dead’ – those who have shown resistance to society’s structures in the past and refuse to be forgotten. The trilogy ends with the arrival of ‘The Gossip’ – a group of activists who transcend time, geographical borders and linguistic barriers to gather in a fugitive nether-realm of conversation and solidarity.
Overall, The Scar looks set to provide a playful yet layered and provocative investigation into the power structures that underpin Turkish society, and other societies across the world, essentially asking; how we can begin to move towards an alternative future where patriarchy no longer exists.
The Scar continues Mirza and Butler’s ongoing interest in critical moments of change, protest and debate, specifically branching out into areas of state violence. Formerly of The Museum of Non Participation, their work has previously focused on women’s bodies as sites of resistance, the deep state, unreliable narration and ‘the ectoplasm of neoliberalism’.