The Road to Vagrancy: translation and reception of Indian cinema in Turkey
BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies
67 - 90
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Taking Turkey as an example, this article focuses on the exhibition and reception of Indian films in the 1950s. It begins with a close analysis of Awara (Vagabond) (Raj Kapoor, 1951), comparing the Turkish dubbed version with the original film. Identifying the "significant variations" between these two versions, it notes that Awara was re-presented as a non-national film utilizing Turkified character names and selective scene deletion, common practices for international films exhibited in Turkey at the time. The article goes on to evaluate the ways in which the film was promoted and distributed throughout Turkey and analyzes various discourses on Awara, circulated through local reviews, news articles, advertisements, illustrations, and cartoons. Observing how culturally specific conditions of exhibition shape audience reception, it suggests that Indian cinema had a specific role in mediating competing discourses on cultural identity, modernity, and national cinema in Turkey.