I, Soldier

Ben Askerim

I, Soldier is the first part of Köken Ergun’s video series in which he deals with the state-controlled national day ceremonies of the Turkish Republic. The nationalistic attributes attached to these large-scale ceremonies are underlined in a non-descriptive and almost voyeuristic point of view. I, Soldier was shot at the National Day for Youth and Sports, the day that marks the start of the independence war of the Turkish people under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk against the Allied powers back in 1919. The annual ceremony held at the biggest stadium of each city consists of figurative dances of high school students, choreographed in a timeless socialist-realist manner. In the last decade, popular songs have replaced the usual military marches, which accompanied the choreography. In this video, a nationalist hip-hop song is played during the gymnastic demonstrations of the military school students, backed by a stern poem of a high-ranking soldier about the virtues of The Soldier.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Köken Ergun
Cinematography: Köken Ergun
Editing: Köken Ergun
Sound: Köken Ergun
Producers: Köken Ergun
Format: HD
Color: Color
Production Country: Türkiye
Production Year: 2006
Duration: 7'
Contact: Köken Ergun
Awards/Distinctions: Special Mention – Zagreb Film Festival 2006

Köken Ergun

Köken Ergun (born 1976, Istanbul) is a Turkish artist/ filmmaker with a background in performing arts. After working with American theatre director Robert Wilson, Ergun became involved with video art and film. His works have been exhibited internationally at institutions including Documenta 14, Paris Triennale, Jakarta Biennial, Kathmandu Triennale, SALT, Garage Moscow, Para-Site Hong Kong, and Casino Luxembourg. His films received several awards at film festivals, including the Tiger Award for Best Short Film at the 2007 Rotterdam Film Festival and a Special Mention at the 2013 Berlinale. Ergun’s films are included in public art collections of institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, Museum of Contemporary Art Athens, Stadtmuseum Berlin, and Kadist Foundation.


2006 I, Soldier (short doc)
2007 The Flag (short doc)
2013 Ashura (short doc)
2015 Young Turks (short doc)
2018 Heroes (doc)