Coffee Futures weaves individual fortunes with the story of Turkey’s decades-long attempts to become a member of the European Union. Promises and predictions made by politicians, both foreign and domestic, are juxtaposed with the rhetorics and practices of coffee fortune telling.July 31, 2009 marked the 50th year anniversary of Turkey’s application to apply to the elusive European Union (maiden name: European Economic Community). On this seemingly endless path, Turkey’s future is continually invoked and described, yet not quite within reach. Touching upon the psychology of collective waiting and anticipating a national future, Coffee Futures attempts to render the emotional texture of a society whose fate has been nationally and internationally debated – often in relation to its “Europeanness” – for a long, long time.
Dr. Zeynep Devrim Gursel is an anthropologist who teaches at the University of Michigan. Originally trained in literature, she received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She researches how things become imagineable both for individuals and groups, and how forms in which the past and today are narrated, are shaped by, and in turn shape expectations of the future. She was introduced to the documentary world when she worked on Damming the Euphrates (2001) in Southeast Turkey.