The “Discussions on Video Essay/Article in Academic Studies” workshop, which is the first leg of the project titled “Creating Content and Index Criteria for Scientific and Artistic Video Articles” supported by TÜBİTAK 3005 – Innovative Solutions in Social Sciences and Humanities Research Projects Support Program, was held on December 26, 2022, at 10:00 on the Zoom platform. Prof. Dr. Hülya Önal, the project coordinator, Prof. Dr. Hasan Akbulut, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Elif Akçalı, Asst. Prof. Dr. Ersan Ocak, Asst. Prof. Dr. Murad Özdemir, Asst. Prof. Dr. İpek Gürkan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Türkgeldi participated as speakers.
Prof. Dr. Hasan Akbulut, who took the floor as the first speaker at the event, stated in his speech that his acquaintance with the video article/video essay began with his entry into the academy and that he has been reading and working in this field since the first years of his professional life. Akbulut said regarding his first encounter with the video article: “As academics who teach in the field of cinema studies, we have always felt that we are faced with a problem when we have prepared our course syllabus with only theoretical texts. Especially in some theoretical courses such as theories of cinema, I needed to support the content to be explained with visuals, and with this need, in previous years, I had found essays with pedagogical qualities in this field, and they were like medicine for me.”
Taking the stage after Akbulut, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Elif Akçalı shared her first step into the field with the following words: “While I was working as a research assistant at Kadir Has University between 2004-2006, I learned professional editing as it was my field of interest and I started to play with the movies when they were available for download.” Akçalı, who stated that she was not interested in the academic side of the field at the beginning, said that she worked with a cinephile identity mostly due to her interest in cinema.
The third speaker Asst. Prof. Dr Ersan Ocak, from TED University Visual Communication Design Department, started his speech with the title “my artistic and academic interest in the essay film”, describing his own experience on the subject and how he got into this business; he drew attention to a terminological distinction and underlined that he used the concept of the essay film, not video essay.
The event continued with a speech by Galatasaray University faculty member Asst. Prof. Dr. Murad Özdemir. Özdemir stated that his first step into the field was with the documentary films he made, and then he realized that his work was an essay film. He stated that when he started to think about the video essay academically, he found himself in visual anthropology. Özdemir, who is currently working in the fields of sensory studies, sound-music anthropology, and video ethnography, which he lectures at the master’s and doctoral level, said about the video essay, “I see that it is really useful to work outside the limited fields of certain audiences here. Because basically, the video essay is more than the text itself I think it is necessary to approach this issue with a more aesthetic and ecological perspective with questions such as: by which actors, in which processes, how is this text shared, how is it consumed, what are the production processes, what is it as a text, what are the consumption processes? I believe that especially in sound and music studies, sensory studies could make a great contribution, because the video essay is a very accepted form in sensory studies, even though it is not the dominant form. I think it would, therefore, be useful to enter into such a dialog not only with film studies.”
Asst. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Türkgeldi, who is a lecturer at the Department of Radio and Television at Çukurova University, stated that when he became aware of the project, he learned that he was not the only one in this field, that other people were working in this field and that he was very excited. He stated that his first step into the field was that he has been interested in music for years and had been editing since he was a research assistant.
The event ended with the closing speech of the project coordinator Prof. Dr. Hülya Önal.