Istanbul Biennial’s public program protested with C.P Cavafy’s poem
The protestors of the Biennial wore t-shirts that said ‘Waiting for Barbarians,’ turning their backs to show the writing, and read C.P Cavafy’s poem.
An event of Public Alchemy, the public program of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, titled “Mom, am I a barbarian?” was protested by a group of people on March 22. The program, which was held at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Maçka Campus was canceled due to the noise made by the protestors.
According to a written statement from the Istanbul Arts and Culture Foundation (İKSV), the protestors made too much noise while university students were in class. The noise interrupted the classes.
The event was canceled and took place March 23 at İKSV’s building in Şişhane.
According to a written statement, the protesting group opposes “income” strategies relating to urban transformation. “The event is showing public domain areas (which are a part of the economic power of urban transformation) as places to show art, which also signifies gaining power over the ‘culture industry.’”
The protestors wore t-shirts that said “Waiting for Barbarians,” turning their backs to show the writing, and read C. P. Cavafy’s poem “Waiting for the barbarians.” The aim was to counter Lale Müldür’s poem “Mom, am I a barbarian?” with another poem. The aim of the group is to show the economic power domain of urban transformation, according to the written statement.
The event at İKSV’s building on March 23 featured poet and art critic Fırat Demir and writer and publisher Burak Fidan’s reading of Ahmet Güntan’s poems. After that the program continued with a presentation by writer Eren Erdem. The first day’s program will conclude with a lecture by Darren George Fleet and Pedro Inoue Sardenberg from Adbusters Media Foundation. Ultra Red member Robert Sember discussed Ultra Red’s approach to collectivity, pedagogy and sound-based investigations in relation to the project, “What is the sound of freedom?”
The event also included presentations by writer Dan Hind.