Exhibition revealing the city through 'memory of the youth'
In the exhibition, visitors are able to see the works the participants created through spaces and sounds that focus on the memory of the cities.Two dozen young people from Turkey’s west and east have come together for a unique art project aiming to capture the city through memory.
The project, “BAK: Revealing the City through Memory,” is being coordinated by the Anadolu Kültür and Diyarbakır Arts Center (DSM) in cooperation with the Geniş Açı Project Office and docIstanbul - Center for Documentary Studies.
The project includes three photography projects, five short documentary films, a film that is based on the documentation of the whole production process, and two blogs, all of which focus on cities and stories.
BAK was launched at the beginning of 2013 as a project that aims at increasing the communication and cultural interaction among young people from different cities, and providing them with opportunities for collective artistic productions. Twenty-four young people between the ages of 18 and 26 from İzmir, Diyarbakır, Çanakkale and Batman came together as part of the project, meeting with the cities and stories of people they did not previously know.
For close to a year, they focused on topics such as cultural diversity and memory, as well as geographical and cultural wealth that disappeared and transformed the relationship between humans and nature, the marks of the city’s memory on places, collectively producing photography, video and blog projects with their new experiences.
The projects were recently on view at DEPO Istanbul. Beside Istanbul, the exhibition was also opened in Diyarbakır and will continue there until Feb. 26. It will also be in İzmir from Feb. 22 to March 16; Batman from Feb. 28 to March 16 and Çanakkale from March 22 to April 13.
A process of interaction and production
In the exhibition, visitors are able to see the works the participants created through spaces and sounds that focus on the memory of the cities, their approach to the significant events of collective memory by way of personal stories, and their projects that question the relationship between public space and the contemporary condition of cities.
Young people with different experiences, coming from different cultural backgrounds and geographical regions of Turkey, participated in workshops that were organized throughout 2013 within the scope of BAK in İzmir, Batman, Çanakkale and Diyarbakır. At these workshops, the participants received training on the relationship between city and memory, and besides studying the cities, they learned different methods of making documentaries using photography and video from advisors who are experts in their areas.
Eylem Ertürk, the project coordinator at Anadolu Kültür, said that at the BAK project, the participants produced joint projects either by starting from their own lives or by focusing on the events that marked its place in the collective memory. The aim of the project is “to look at the city together in order to remember and tell; to describe the past in its relation to the present; and, to deliver to the future under a hopeful gaze, what has been seen and recorded,” Ertürk said.
Ertürk described the learning and production processes of the project, saying: “We have experienced a long, pleasant, and more importantly, a sharing process for a year with young people who came from cities that are different in their relationship to the recent and distant past, in the east and west of Turkey. While the participants rediscovered the cities they live in, they also visited the cities where their project partners live and they have met with new perspectives. I believe that the participants had an important experience with regard to collective work, as well as in meeting with different cities and people, and I believe that they will convey this to the audience with their photographs and short documentary films.”