by Nedim Hazar Bora

The music of the so-called Turkish guest workers in Germany, from one who was there

Nedim Hazar Bora | Germany, Turkey | 2023 | 89′ | OmU

The topic is not finished with one film! After last year’s highlight AŞK, MARK VE ÖLÜM aka LOVE, D-MARK AND DEATH (awarded as the best music documentary of the year at UNERHÖRT! 2022), the film of someone who was right in the middle of it all reaches us in 2023: Nedim Hazar Bora, born in Ankara, grew up in Sydney and immigrated from Turkey to the FRG in 1980 for political reasons. In the FRG he immediately began to work as an actor, but also to make a lot of music, not only, but also with numerous members of the Turkish community. From the noughties onwards, film direction was added to Hazar Bora’s manifold activities, this time again from Istanbul. After the Gezi protests, things became increasingly difficult for him professionally. In 2018, he returns to North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2019, he organizes the music revue “Songs and Stories from Transit” with his group “Die Mampen” and supported by other guest musicians – including Eko Fresh. In 2021, just in time for the 60th anniversary of the recruitment agreement for the immigration of Turkish workers to the FRG and supported by music stars of this milieu from several generations, he then launches the concert series “Deutschlandlieder” together with Ruddi Sodemann and an eleven-piece band whose parents had come to Germany from 15 different nations.

The film documents this event with pictures of the most important stations, with many interviews with contemporary witnesses and contextualizing conversations between Hazar Bora and his interlocutors, who do not necessarily come from the field of music.

The result is not only a potpourri of musical styles, but also a medley narrative of immigration that insists on the visibility and audibility of all, on concrete cultural exchange, on a historiography that recognizes demographic realities, and on a sense of community that knows how to share one’s own rights with the newcomers.

Guest Film Talk: Nedim Hazar Bora (Director)