Archive of legendary writer on display
Commemorating his 100th birthday, a new exhibit at Tütün Deposu in Istanbul’s Tophane brings together written and visual materials from legendary Turkish figure Aziz Nesin’s vast archive, in order to show this extremely prolific figure in terms of his literature, humor, life views, political attitude and his legacy for the future.
The exhibition, entitled “Ömrüne Sığmayan Adam: Aziz Nesin 1915-2015” (A Life Overflowing) and organized by the Nesin Foundation, aims to introduce Aziz Nesin through the values he established and perpetuated.
Besides depicting Nesin, the exhibition seeks to relay the history he witnessed to viewers through diverse forms of documents and a space for discussion. It provides an opportunity to look back at recent history of Turkey, to specific events such as the Istanbul pogrom of 6-7 Sept., 1955, and the Sivas massacre of 1993.
The project documents his lifetime achievements as well as his work. The exhibit’s photographs of Nesin Foundation and the documentary “Aziz Nesin is Alive” were produced by Burcu Kolbay and Fatih Pınar. The documentary is based on video interviews with students and employees of the foundation.
The majority of the exhibited material is composed of documents and publications compiled from the Nesin Foundation’s archive. The exhibit includes Nesin’s diaries, letters, notes, published and unpublished texts, writings and drawings about him, photographs, cartoons, posters as well as objects and texts which were collected and used by Nesin himself.
Within the framework of this diverse material and Nesin’s own narration, a historical reading has been constructed.
The curator of the exhibition is Işın Önal, a resident of Vienna, while the archival work was carried out by Esin Pervane and Salih Bora. Since 2009, Pervane has published books based on the personal archive of Nesin and also transliterated Nesin’s notes, most of which were written using the Ottoman Turkish alphabet, into the Latin alphabet.
All carrier wooden units of the exhibition have been designed by Berlin-based Berk Asal and produced as a result of collective work with the Nesin Foundation students and graduates in workshops.
Narrated by himself
The exhibition is made up of two sections on two floors of the gallery. The first section features the period when Nesin was alive, between 1915 and 1995. This period is narrated by the writer himself, with anecdotes from his books, diaries, texts, photos, and other material.
The other section of the exhibition features the period from 1995 till today, focusing on Nesrin’s legacy that he planned before his death, such as the Nesin Foundation, Nesin Publishing House, Nesin Mathematics Village and his books published posthumously.
All of Nesin’s books that have been published so far are also available at the exhibition, which will continue through July 16.