Popo, Pein, Paragraphen

Pop, Pein, Paragraphen

Eine Deutschstunde von Cem Kaya feat. Ekİm Acun alias ŞOKOPOP

In 2024, the Basic Law celebrates its 75th anniversary – and with it the maxim that the dignity of every human is inviolable. In the same year, shortly after the disclosure of a secret meeting in Potsdam about mass deportation plans, an unprecedented attack on an individual’s right to asylum in the EU came in the new asylum reform – followed by European Parliament elections, in which the dramatic shift to the right was even worse than expected.

In 2024, it will also be around 40 years since 23-year-old Cemal Kemal Altun threw himself from the 6th floor of the Berlin Higher Administrative Court. A politically active student, he had fled to West Berlin in 1980 after the military coup in Turkey because he was no longer safe there. He was granted political asylum in West Germany, but the German Ministry of the Interior itself challenged this decision – and informed the military dictatorship about Altun. Turkey then promised that it would not consider the death penalty in Altun’s case, in order to open up the possibility of deportation for West Germany. So, despite the ongoing legal proceedings, Cemal Kemal Altun was taken into custody pending extradition and then, during the retrial, threw himself out of the window in front of rolling cameras. His fate reveals much about the Federal Republic of Germany’s inhumane treatment of its asylum seekers being on good terms with the Turkish military was put above the protection of a persecuted person.

In his video lecture-performance Pop, Pein, Paragraphen, filmmaker Cem Kaya, known for his award-winning documentaries such as Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm (Love, D-Mark and Death), takes Cemal Kemal Altun as a starting point to confront Germany and its steeped-in-tradition collaboration with illegitimate states. Kaya compiles and composes disparate material from the archives with private documents and retells Germany’s legal history in a performative manner, relentlessly and with vicious wit. In so doing, he traces out nothing less than the social conditions which reach far beyond that time, and which present with shocking clarity the continuity of the breeding ground for a fascism that was never eliminated. So a completely new German lesson.

Premiere 6/September 2024

Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.

Photo: Esra Rotthoff

Concept, Video, Text & Stage Design
Cem Kaya

Anschl. Premierenparty in der Kantine


Artistic collaboration

Costume & Maskdesign




Cem Kaya

EKİM Zafer Acun (Şokopop)