Apologies and regrets reflected in exhibition
‘Never Again! Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past’ aims to explore experiences of coming to terms with the past and the act of apologizing in the context of societies’ efforts to constitute a culture.“Never Again! Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past,” Depo Istanbul’s new exhibition which opened yesterday, shines a light on the political and social scenes through photographs and documentaries. The exhibition focuses on the issues around the past, that have increasingly become a topic of discussion in the political and social spheres both in our geography and at other places in the world in recent years. Confronting the past and the demand for apology is the major point of controversy in this discussion. The exhibition “Never Again! Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past” aims to explore experiences of coming to terms with the past and the act of apologizing in the context of societies’ efforts to constitute a common culture of democracy from a relational perspective. In this case Turkey and other countries are taken into account.
The statement of the exhibition said: “Looking closely at eight cases from around the world, the exhibition contemplates how states have come to terms with past rights violations, massacres, genocide and crimes of humanity, and the meaning of the issued apology.”
According to the written statement sent by the Depo art space, confronting the past is not a predicament that befell Turkey; it is an issue on the world’s agenda, a universal cause. This is why looking at comparative international case studies from around the world will contribute to transforming the culture of forgetting in Turkey and acknowledging that a remembering culture that would restore a sense of justice is a part of the civilization process. In this respect confronting the past and apology is also about what kind of a society we want to live in and the kind of shared future we want to build.
Case studies in the works
In addition to the specifically presented case studies, the exhibition also includes a comprehensive map of the official apologies issued up to date. This special project realized in consultancy with Elazar Barkan and Graham G. Dodds and visually designed by designer and artist Mahir M. Yavuz, explores official apologies via the relation of the historical context and given space.
Books of the project
Two books were also published in scope of the project. The catalogue, which is a complementary volume to the exhibition, can be obtained free of charge from Depo throughout the exhibit. The second volume, titled “Never Again!: Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past,” comprised of texts examining the case studies presented in the exhibition in detail and featuring contributions by authors and academicians working on issues of confronting the past, has been published by İletişim Publishing.
The project’s coordinators are Asena Günal (editor), Önder Özengi (curator) and Özlem Yalçınkaya. The photographers and documentary film makers featured in the exhibition are Fred Hoare, Robert White, Marcelo Montecino, Paulo Slachevsky, Marcela Briones, Patricia Alfaro, Marco Ugarte, Behiç Günalan, Dusan Vranic, Irina Nedeva, Andrey Getov, Leslie Woodhead, Mick Csaky, Jon Jones. The exhibition continues until Dec. 15.