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Post-Truth – Dorian Sari

Dorian Sari’s works examine empirical as well as artistic facets of post-truth. Portraying a state of affairs that prompts emotions of bewilderment and radical dissociation and calls our personal systems of trust in question, it illustrates how that state serves to negotiate social change or fuel polarization.

Intro

Dorian Sari’s works examines empirical as well as artistic facets of post-truth. Portraying a state of affairs that prompts emotions of bewilderment and radical dissociation and calls our personal systems of trust in question, it illustrates how that state serves to negotiate social change or fuel polarization. The here presented video works reflect Sari’s preoccupation with these pressing contemporary issues, which are also explored in depth in an artist’s publication containing writings by the artist.

Post-truth was declared word of the year in 2016 by the Oxford Dictionary and was defined as an adjective “relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” The term is widely used in the political and societal context to describe the processes generating popular sentiments that paved the way for, say, the Brexit vote or the election of Donald Trump.

As Dorian Sari sees it, the concept of post-truth encapsulates a broad range of central concerns in today’s debates. The artist inquires into the development that has led to the debasement of scientifically established facts and analyses. Their authority has given way to a sense of collective and individual uncertainty that has taken hold despite, or precisely because of, the universal accessibility and sheer volume of information available today. The norm of truthfulness as an ethical standard is in crisis. People are often looking not so much for truths that will allow them to arrive at reasoned conclusions than for confirmation of existing interests and convictions driven by heterogeneous political and economic motives.

 

This online presentation is part of Dorian Sari’s solo exhibition Post-Truth at the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart. The exhibition features new videos and sculptures, which were developed in the context of Sari’s JUNGE AKADEMIE fellowship at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.

Post-Truth – Dorian Sari (Manor Art Prize 2021)

Order the book here.

February 13–May 24, 2021, Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart

Curators: Philipp Selzer with Sarah Wiesendanger and Eva Falge

First awarded thirty-six years ago, the Manor Art Prize promotes young Swiss visual artists working. It is considered one of the most important awards for emerging contemporary artists in Switzerland.

“Ayayay”

2021, 3:21 min

The video shows the protagonist in a leather jacket with a gun pointed at his back. He wanders through the night and early morning hours, panic-stricken as he calls out “Ayayay.” The protagonist can neither escape nor identify the supposed threat. The gun could signify a diffuse fear that breathes down someone’s neck.

“Look!”

2020, 3:36 min

The artist can be seen on ten TV screens of different sizes, arranged in an order which resemble the display in an electronics store. He points with his hand to an incident outside the screen without the camera following him. The intensity of his gesture increases as the video progresses and his emphasis on the continuously repeated word “Look!” becomes increasingly insistent and desperate. Whatever the important and moving scene is off-screen, it remains unexplained because the camera remains focused on the protagonist. The disturbing aspect of this invisible happening is mixed with the despair of not being able to change the camera’s point of view.

Post-Truth, Violance, Anger

Introduction

Sometimes, I miss speaking Turkish. Because it is playful. I can invent new words. Everything can become a verb, a name, an adjective or an adverb. Then they can also be passive or active. They can be poetic, fictive, doubtful or on point. There are no genders, no il / elle, er / sie, le-la les or der-die-das. There is only o. All the songs, all the poems are everyone’s. All the evils, all the shadows are everyone’s. This book is written in broken English. I do it with the belief that it makes everything more transparent. It becomes vivacious. Even though English is not my mother tongue I speak it everyday. Here I wrote as I live with it. I tried to pay attention to use they-them-their instead of she-her-hers, he-him-his whenever the person’s gender was of no importance to the story. Because I want that all songs belong to everyone. I want that all poems belong to everyone.

 

Genderneutral pronouns

He is going home

They are going home

 

She is my daughter

They are my daughter

 

He is 9, he can dress himself

They are 9, they can dress themself/themselves

 

His car is purple

Their car is purple

 

Her mug was her birthday present

Their mug was their birthday present

 

We call her in two minutes

We call them in two minutes

 

I love him

I love them

 

Read all Texts on Post-Truth_Violence_Anger

Who Wrote This Story?

Une histoire de la folie (El Pelele), 2019

As many of you, me too, my schedule is overloaded. It is difficult to say sometimes ‘no, sorry I can’t’. A dear friend or someone that you were envisioning for a while to collaborate with can knock on your mailbox or ring your phone in a busy moment. Actually, when I am not involved with something? I can’t remember a moment of not being busy. I have a hyperactive and depressive nature. It sounds bipolar enough, but this is what it is. Indeed, they can be the antidote to one another. If I let the depression take over my consciousness, it brings regularly suicidal thoughts. It is a chronic mental disorder in my mom’s family. My uncle killed themself when I was ten years old and my aunt was regularly in a psychiatric clinic. And maybe my mom, the oldest one of them, found a remedy. She was working every day, even weekends. When I was little, I was begging her to stay with me on Saturdays. But “she had to work.” She was always coming late at night from work. She was responsible. She had responsibilities. Even now, she is  working like crazy. She doesn’t even know what to do besides work. When I was little, I remember her face coming from work so tired. As if it was not enough, she had to take care of me, my little brother, and her horrific, violent, macho husband who basically never brought money home – never paid a bill or something. As if it wasn’t enough, my father was forcing my mom to regularly give him pocket money. After a certain age, I found out why my mom was working so much. Her job was her rescue from that unhealthy, terrorizing marriage. Once we talked about it, but she neither agreed nor disagreed. During my own therapy, I was bringing up many disturbing memories and her answers to my questions concerning those traumas have always been, “I don’t remember it at all.” Forgetting was her survival defense mechanism. On the one hand, it was making me so angry because she herself unconsciously developed a fake “functional” family system in which she had to work so much for her children, and as a result of it, at least her children could have, or had to have, a bright future. There was a repetitive sentence from her: “I work for my children.” And, day after day, my mom’s tired face became a signature of my unchosen guilt, which then at a very early age became my burden. I had the feeling that I had to be successful, because me and my little brother were project- children of an unhappy, depressed, young mother, made to believe by tradition that a marriage has to continue until the end of life, even though it is a marriage with a narcissistic asshole. On the other hand, I can’t be angry with her, because she got married and I was born when my mom was just twenty three years old. She was herself a very young mother… in a society that never protected women, in a society where the screaming husband, the mentally and physically violent husband, was allowed. My mom didn’t even know or think about any other option. Because of what? Because you get married only once and it should be until the end, and you should accept everything as it is: good or bad. I remember like yesterday, I was little, and went to tell my grandma that my father was acting murderous to my mom. She was crying from hearing that, and then I was feeling guilty to have made my dearest, loving grandma helpless and sad. My grandma was unable to have a strong position. Because of what? Because my mom, my dad, and me, we were a family, and what was happening in a family was no one else’s business. Women shouldn’t have a voice, and men were just like that. So my grandma had to stay shut up. However, I, as a project-child, had to be super successful. I worked hard, and became, capitalistically, a success machine – prize after prize. (Somehow I discovered for myself the formula of “winning ” something in this stupid life). Meanwhile, years passed, and I became physically potent to fight back against my father; became competent to protect my mom and my little brother from his rage. I remember there were fights almost four or five nights per week. I analyzed and learned all the rules and tactics of domestic violence very young. When I was in my bed, right before falling asleep, I was fighting in my mind with my father. It was happening every night. With time, my father became a symbol of all male figures to me. From there, domestic violence grew into and became social violence. I am gay (I knew it already when I was in kindergarten. It is another story). At that time I never verbalized it, but around the age of eleven or twelve the perception of the others for my gayness brutally labeled and tagged me. Of course, those who were mocking me were only boys. And these boys had the potential to become like my father. At least that is how I started to generalize them. So I was scared of stereotypical cis heterosexual men. It arrived to a certain point that I, the flamboyant gay boy, who is so funny and fun when they are with girls, became silent and terrorized the moment where there was a cis heterosexual boy or man. I was looking for a little mistake from them. I was ready to attack them for any potentially misogynistic or homophobic behavior. It was automatic. My brain was analyzing them so fast, and preparing strong and hurtful sentences in my head to protect “us.” When I say “us” I mean people who let by traditions be abused. I was unable to speak with cis men. I was unable to get to know, to discover any of them, except my father. I was puking all my fears and anger often on him. He was my allegorical punch bag. At the age of seventeen, I moved to Paris to study at Sorbonne university. It was very difficult to be alone with no money. I had to work, and I was still beyond scared of men, but my economical conditions didn’t allow me to see a therapist until the age of twenty-five. Until then, I faked it. I hid my personality and my fear of men. I put a fake smile on my face, and pretended that it was amazing to work with them. Basically, I had to obey. It was hard to do it, but when you have no other choice, you do it. Now, I have to give some credit to some amazing, good-hearted cis heterosexual men that I worked with. They have been great to me, their love and support made me cut off my automatic prejudgement, and I told myself that actually, some of them are good people. But around the age of twentyfive, my psychosomatic attacks didn’t let my self-therapy go any further and it became insufficient. And I spent all of my scholarship on psychotherapy. I looked for – on purpose – a cis heterosexual male therapist. I needed to cry in front of one of them. It took three years of therapy for me to be able to talk with a cis heterosexual man without a wall; without any judgement. Yes, I still keep a distance when I meet with one. But at least I am not scared and I don’t get angry in five minutes anymore.

Today, I am thirty-one years old, and I find myself in the same strategy as my mom: I just work. I just work, because sadness imposed by society is so quick to catch my being, and to blow around in my head. Yes, I don’t have children. Yes, I don’t have a brutal husband, but even though I forgave my father, permanently fighting him in the past passed the torch to cis heteronormative society. That is why I studied politics before art: to be able to understand better these disgusting rules and hierarchies. It is difficult to enjoy life once you became a ma-chine of fighting at a very early age. Wherever I go, my brain detects in two seconds an inequality, injustice, or a lie, and in the third second my impulses want to react, want to explode, but now I don’t do this anymore. For a long time, I had my lessons from repetitive scenarios caused by compulsion. I mean, at least this is the best version so far. Since a long time I don’t exorcise, instead, I immediately exercise: I wait, I dialogue, I question, I listen, I try to go to the source of the malpractice, and I try to have a conversation with a different vision and use of words that are missing in the expression of the person who is in front of me. It is a lot of work. It is not a funny game. And it is for sure gonna be like that until I die. As if I made a traditional marriage with this shit. I never tried to ignore life so far, but I guess I could divorce it by going to different therapies and learning how to ignore what is going on in the world around me, or even in me. At the end of the day, I find myself like mom’s child, literally. Maybe I’m not married with a horrific husband, but I am married by custom to a cruel cis heteronormative male world. Honestly, in the past, when a situation became unbearable to handle, I tried to run away many times. I lived in different countries and different cities. Every time, I thought naively, ‘ok this time in this new place, I will start from zero, it will be different, it can be a peaceful home’. But by experience, it has been proven that my escapes were only illusions. My therapist was telling me regularly, “Mösyö Sari, if you have shit in your pocket, wherever you go, you have the shit in your pocket.” It’s true. It resonated enough that it has changed my life perspective. Now next to my diplomatic but still frontal approach to social problems, I try also to forgive people’s capacity. But it doesn’t mean everything is tolerable. It is just a step from my side to meet maybe in the middle of the bridge.

Nice to Meet You

These Kids, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to meet with a lovely curator that was a dream for me to get to know them. We talked for hours. Both of us were excited and happy to get to know each other. In the end, we got so tired of speaking, silence gravitated in my atelier. And it was obvious, we had much more to say. They were already an hour late for their next meeting, and they were supposed to go on holiday in two days. They suggested that I come to a picnic for their friend’s birthday which was happening the next day.

I was excited and happy to be heard and understood without an extra effort to clarify myt houghts. It doesn’t happen often. But when it happens, it is so delicious. Of course I went to this birthday party. When I arrived, there were only four people. Three middle-aged, queer activists-artists from Turkey, and one young performance artist from Curaçao. This artist – I don’t remember their name and I’m ashamed of it – quickly started telling me their story. Where is their country? What political forms apply? How many people are living there? Etcetera. It was clear that they were tired of explaining about their roots. But at the same time, they would not give up doing it: leaving us ignorant, knowing nothing about their Caribbean island where people struggle politically and economically. As if it was their duty to be proud. I listened to them very carefully. And my first question was, what was their mother tongue? They loved it. They were happy to see that someone was interested in their story. “Papiamento,” they said. And then I got a full introduction to this language and then this people’s complete pain which was left behind by the colonial story. They said that bureaucratically, to be able to be recognized, they could only get a Dutch passport. They said that the only way to build a future was coming to Nederlands. There they studied performance art. And three weeks after their graduation, they came to Germany to continue to talk and perform – I can also use the verb to fight – about Europe’s post-colonial story. In their speech, they were underlining their ongoing experiences of racism because of their skin color. They were giving examples of many legitimized racist customs that a stereotypical Western person would never think of and could never imagine.

After a while, it was my turn. I said that I am an artist living and working in Switzerland. And here in Berlin, I came to work for a couple of months. Suddenly they were smiling, and said that at the end of this month they will perform in Zürich. They said that it will be a performance in a public space about slavery in Swiss history and ist ongoing effects. They said that they will wear historical replicas of slavery chains around their neck, their hands, and their feet. They said that they will walk with other people who will hold and pull their chains. The scene that they described sounded harsh. I know Zürich. I know Switzerland. For almost eight years I have been living in this country. My very first imagination in my Kopfkino: while they were walking with these heavy burdens, next to them on the street were super clean-dressed, silent people: people that I presume to have very high life standards compared to the rest of the world, and have – allegedly – rarely been confronted with their own colonial history… I panicked for a second. This courageous young artist was motivated to bring their forthright attitude to a country that doesn’t like in your face things … I didn’t know why, but I panicked right that moment for them.

And suddenly they asked me, “Can you tell me about Switzerland? I have never been there. I am so excited. It will be great. Organizers are adorable. Can you give me some idea of what might be waiting for me?” They were curiously smiling.

What did I have to say? How should I answer that question?

I have a roller-coaster relationship with Switzerland: when it comes to nature, to people, to my chosen family, I love them, I love that country, I’m glad to live my life there. But when it is about politics and bureaucracy, there is a fit of huge anger in me. In a moment that something recalls it, impulsively, I want to run away from that country. I get a heavy heart with this country when it reminds me of the silence, when it reminds me of passivity, when it reminds me of conservatism and political hypocrisy. I feel depressed, I feel auto-censured, I feel censured, I feel not understood. I feel like a minority. I feel ignored in the name of thousands, of millions of foreigners who live there.

I didn’t know what to say. I boggled over.

On the one hand, this person is so courageous; so on fire. They have full right to scream and to confront everybody, with the condition of respect and non-violence. But on the other hand, after seven years of experience, I think I know enough to say how their performance might be seen from the perspective of Swiss culture and Swiss attitude. I personally experienced the denial in that culture. I have been confronted. I have shared my thoughts, demonstrated in its streets, used my freedom of speech, but I always hit a wall. The wall of silence and passivity. The wall which permits everything to continue as it is, as much as the country continues to be “safe” and “rich.” I find it sometimes too difficult to adapt to Swiss slowness as a foreigner. I personally had the experience that, when I was telling my story, some people were not even believing what they heard. And my story is (for sure) not even comparable with the story of this young artist from Curaçao. As if it is not enough, when I criticize Switzerland’s internal or external political attitude, I receive comments that tell me to leave the country if I am not happy with it. I just told them to ignore what would be the reactions. I told them that whatever happens, it is their right to be there and perform their story. I told them to be prepared for nothing, to expect nothing. I told them that people are generally scared of not destructions, or not even death, but are scared of thought. Thought is subversive, revolutionary, destructive, and fearful. Thought tramples against privilege, rigid tradition, and all pleasure habits. Thought is anarchic and illegal, never gives a fuck about authority. Thought considers those scared humans who pretend to be the ruler of the universe, like little black-holes surrounded with endless silence. Thought is gigantic, fast, and free. It is the light of the world and the biggest step one takes. I told them that we are the mind of the future. What we think, what we believe now, will be alive in the future. And we shouldn’t forget our past. If we let it happen, the time will continue to form its circles – it might repeat itself. That means: the violence of the past has just changed its hand. Now it is in our hands. And what are we going to do with this anger? Are we going to smash it back to where it is coming from, and let them have it again – use it again in the future? Or should we break this circle and form a fine line with it?

We should think! We should think bigger. We should think larger. How can we channel this anger and turn it into something constructive instead of having unhealthy explosions from time to time? What is the “correct” attitude and language for that? Right then, as I said that, our conversation was over. Their smile was still on, and I was glad to see it. My new curator friend arrived two hours late. And without noticing, we became twenty-something people. I was surrounded by all these beautiful activists, those who are engaged for equality and for the freedom of love.

That conversation resonated in me all night long. I felt Swiss. I noticed that before! When there is someone angrier than me, I become Swiss, I invite them to be diplomatic, to be constructive. Diplomacy is not a bad thing, the opposite, I think it is the proper way to dialogue. Switzerland can really be a global role model, if it wants. It has the capacity and the direct democracy to do it. But I do not accept the slowness, waiting for the obvious changes which are not happening today or tomorrow. I want equality. I want inclusivity. I wish togetherness, not traditional hierarchies. We are in 2020, in the middle of Europe, in a world-runner country, and I am still waiting to be able to marry my partner (for example). I am still waiting to be accepted as a local citizen. I am still waiting for my artist’s rights. Artist rights are human rights. As if being recognized bureaucratically as a second-world citizen isn’t enough, how about those who are considered third-world citizens? I want recognition of thousands of illegal­­ people walking in the streets, working for us. They have no voice! No voice! Can you imagine? This year we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Corona could be, and still can be, a great moment to accelerate, and to find a solution for this misery. Cantons can take measurements – at least temporarily to try out – against domestic violence, climate change, for recognition of illegal denizens, and giving them free healthcare and food.

These days, a lot of people are so proud of solidarity. It is like a chewing gum in the mouth of people. Masticating “solidarity, solidarity ” as if it is a national anthem. But, personally, I will not believe in this solidarity which is primarily oriented towards Swiss citizens. It is not solidarity, it is nationalism, it is a hierarchy. It is ignoring “others.” It is defining “others.” Discounting illegal people, closing your eyes, turning your head and still letting them work for your society is basically post-modern slavery!

Are we clear?

 

Greetings to my new friend from Curaçao.

I wish you a wonderful performance in Zürich.

Peace and love, Dorian.

I Sell Guns, and I Call Myself Neutral ;)

A couple of days ago, I have been invited to participate in “Rewriting Our Imaginations” which is a public art project that will take place in the city of Basel. Seventy-two artists are invited and each artist has to design their own poster regarding the title. The initial intention of organizers (Liste Art Fair) is to invite artists to rewrite, to capture, to comment on this “new normal” caused by Covid-19. I tried to take it from a wider perspective. In my opinion I don’t think there is such a thing as “new normal.” It is the same situation, but some destructive people have gained a better excuse to more specifically blame some others. Conspiracy theories get attention more than ever. Their producers and promoters got more clicks – more money in their pockets. The age of the ego of Strongman politics went down from fifteen to six. It became easier for these disgusting creatures to invent excuses to pull a gun; to threaten. Instead of unification and solidarity: lack of leadership, and “me, me, me” politics become harsher in the name of saving greedy capitalism. The marriage between hierarchy and money is still not in its deathbed. Instead of divorcing each other, they declare an eternal contract. It is more obvious to me to understand that my equalitarian utopian world dream is in the same corner as unicorns and rainbows – at least right now. I had thought my dreams were closer to possibility on the spectrum of all potentials.

There is not a new normal – nothing changed! When borders got closed, insensitive people compared it with Gaza. When forced lockdown happened, insensitive people compared themselves with prisoners of conscience. When mandatory distance and wearing masks came up, insensitive people compared it with tyrannized Muslim women. But those insensitive garbage talkers continued to consume and destroy nature. Climate change is rocking: no measurements are taken; consumerism is still mega à la mode; domestic violence is, as usual, tolerated; animals are still eaten, and shared proudly on social media; and, of course, liars got longer scripts to play their multi-façade roles on the stage of power games. And now an art fair invites seventytwo artists to “rewrite our imaginations.”

If everything is about hierarchy, and if I still want to make a small change in this sad picture, and if this art fair gives me an empty poster to design, I believe I should start to talk about my surroundings; about the place where I live. First of all, I personally feel an urge to be more active concerning world problems instead of continuing in my singular artistic abstract creativity.

It is a personal artistic decision and not a comment or critique of other artists. They can continue to do what they want to do. So, if I should be active, even become an activist maybe, I should start in my surroundings, in the place where I live. Because it is so easy to complain and to throw shit to 3000 km away, blame Trump and Trumpkinds and their disciples all the time … It just releases egos on social media in one’s echo chamber for a while, makes one feel good, feel like one did something good. And I think it is just fooling oneself. I tell to myself I should focus on here! What can I do here?

By the way! I would love to give a small example related to this ego-satisfaction through long distance before I explain my poster project. Journalists love this ego-satisfaction through longdistance! They love it. They love to pump it. They love to contort one oppressed story to satisfy their public’s ego. I will give now one example regarding Western satisfaction, and this is  a consensus between Turkish intellectuals. Whenever these intellectuals are a subject or an object of an interview in a Western country, whatever is the main reason (book, theater or movie release), journalists bring the topic all the time to Erdogan, and they want to hear how much these intellectuals are oppressed, instead of promoting their oeuvre. Then, these journalists link all the inspirations to Erdogan’s catastrophic politics. They write and make everything look like there can’t be any different inspiration but Erdogan’s oppression and violence. I agree with these intellectuals that it is a complete Western ego satisfaction to show to their public, ‘look! we give voice to the oppressed, we give them freedom of speech’. I do not consider myself, and I am not considered, as one of those intellectuals, do not get me wrong. But I have a similar story. When I won the Swiss Art Awards in 2019 with the video A&a (if art fails, thought fails, justice fails…), there was a teeny-tiny, super-small article in NZZ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung – which is considered as one of the most reliable newspapers for Germanspeaking Switzerland). In the article, they put my name with another winning artist, Mirkan Deniz, also from Turkey. According to the article, Mirkan’s work is about attacks on civil houses in Kurdistan, and my video is a metaphor of the current situation in Turkey. I don’t know what theme inspired Mirkan’s work, but concerning my video, my inspiration was completely not Turkey or Erdogan! My initial inspiration was my juridic fight with Switzerland. My inspiration was coming from “how Switzerland was kicking me out of the country,” because there are no artists’ rights here if you come from a non- EU country. My inspiration was my legal fight against being a sans-papier in this country. It was about the injustice that I experienced in Switzerland. This journalist didn’t even ask me anything. And at that point, everybody in the Swiss Art Awards team knew my inspirations behind that video work. One could also ask them. Or maybe they asked, but didn’t want to mention a situation about their own country, and preferred to write something that says how Switzerland let these poor immigrants use their freedom of speech against Erdogan’s oppression… I wished they had contacted me. I wished their interest to write one sentence about my work hadn’t ended up as an invented story. Instead, I wished that we could talk about that video, and I wished that we could seriously use our freedom of speech to say the truth behind it. But instead of truth, here we go with the post-truth!

But… Let’s come back to the poster project.

In my own mental hierarchy of social problems (according to Carolin Emcke, social problems hold the second place after economical problems on the “hierarchy of pain”; mentioned in her book When I Say Yes), I select violence and anger as number one.

I love the poster format. It is in your face as a medium. What I like most is that these posters will be shown in the streets next to other publicities, commercials, information charts …

To be honest, I didn’t think one second about what I would like to do. I think often about the power and tactics of obedience via public commercials. I read enough about it from a psychological point of view. In a society that everything is already preselected for you by unknown power-holders, these commercials serve just to keep the capitalist lie of “you have the full freedom to do whatever you want.” Plus, in Switzerland, where the country has the one and only direct democracy system in the world, citizens are invited to vote very often, and in ist streets, there are constantly new posters about the upcoming voting subjects. And of course, in the time of populist rightwing rise, the Swiss People’s Party (SVP / UDC) has its own, not unique, but just disgusting, horrific, toxic, hate-oriented, racist, islamophobic, and unbearable ads everywhere. Most of the time, according to them, it is all foreigners’ fault for everything; even though those “guilty ” foreigners literally clean these racists’ shit in their toilets, we are considered as if we came to steal Swiss money.

In Switzerland one of four people is a foreign national, that is officially equivalent to 24% of the people who live in this country. We do not have a Swiss passport. That means we do not have the right to vote. But we, two million denizens, are every day actively participating in the Swiss socio-economic-cultural system. We are working for this society, we contribute at every level in daily life, but according to the SVP, we are here to change the culture, to destroy Swiss traditions, to steal Swiss money as if nobody knows where this money comes from.

Their hate speeches and graphics in their posters make them in every polling more scandalous, more obnoxious. And as a “foreigner” (this is just a bureaucratic adjective in my opinion), me and everyone like me (foreign nationals) that I know personally: we get seriously offended! And my eyes are looking for someone, a foreignnational Swiss / a voice / a representative in this country who will defend our situation in front of this hate propaganda. But it looks like someone like that doesn’t exist. Between 2 million foreign denizens, I don’t see someone who is diplomatic, but still defensive; liberal, but at the same time respectful to traditionalists; integrative, but not only for foreigners, also with Swiss national conservatives. I just don’t see in public a thinker or a sociologist or an artist or a writer or a lawyer; someone who dares to be a proper voice.

What SVP does is using a strategy of hate. In 2017, they have been – once – convicted for hate crime, but they should be convicted for each time! And obviously this political party has an army of lawyers and enough supporters who double-check every possibility that one can’t juridically attack them. I repeat: still what SVP does is a hate crime, because they point to a group of people; they put minorities as a target of all their reasoning. In their campaign ads, they put minarets in every corner on the map of Switzerland. When they do that, they pump islamophobia. When they depict a woman in a burqa, they objectify women’s bodies. They generalize with hostility what “Islam” is. When they literally kick a black sheep out of the group of white sheep, they invite people to be racist. When they put a “fat” person with an E.U. belt sitting on a cracked Swiss map, they discriminate against their neighbors, they objectify the human body, calling their neighbors fat and heavy, greedy, space-consumers. When SVP shows a condom on the EU flag and writing on it: “A Swiss [woman] is protected from European viruses,” they officially consider women as a reproductive mechanism, they objectify their body, they abuse people’s freedom. They are disgusting! And I find it unbelievable how it is still not considered as a hate crime?! In Basel, I see many times these posters are destroyed. In this city, people are very open-minded. But when you go 30 km away, conservatism starts to burn one’s brain. One well-educated adult foreigner immediately questions how is it possible? But obviously open-minded people live in the big cities generally, and they are not active enough to come together to do something to protect 24% of this country which doesn’t have the right to vote. Is this hate propaganda an example of democracy? Is this really what freedom of speech is? Targeting foreign national denizens who don’t have the right to vote, and using them for propaganda purposes, pumping hate regarding them: is this what we call democracy? I think it is a slowly accustomed, legitimized hate crime. There must be many more debates over this. We should question it.

Imagine for 2 seconds that this 24% of foreign nationals are gone from Switzerland … What would it look like?

Whatever!

Let’s come back to the poster project: My inspiration for this project is this hate. I want to make a political poster with a subject that these SVP people and their voters cannot, for once, blame us. Using their simple language, and same graphical aggression, but this time showing something that is the complete truth.

I will write on this poster, “I sell guns, and I call myself neutral ;),” with a wink. I want to put a subject that is the truth but is at the same time not talked about enough. It is easy to find proper information about how Swiss-made tanks and guns are deathly used; how these Swiss-made products are sold to the market of murderers and fired upon civilians.

I get angry when I see SVP ’s publicities. I get offended. It has big effects on me living in this country. But, I am lucky to be surrounded with open-minded people that I can discuss and exchange opinions with about these targets. But what if you are not surrounded by openminded people? What if you live in a small village and as a foreign-national Swiss teenager you see these hateful SVP attacks regularly? I use the word attack, because I see it – I experience it – as an attack. What will this teenager think? With whom will they talk and build up a proper opinion? How will they “integrate” smoothly to the society under this threat in which they are not welcomed and one day they might be kicked out of the country? How will these young adults become Swiss? Instead of dialoguing with them for unification with this country, SVP posters create an invisible anger. This unquestioned force can lead these young people to feel left out and pushed out to radicalization. SVP radicalization is feeding on the other side an invisible radicalization. Instead of “integrating” the foreign youth into society, this youth starts to have – at a very early age – an identity problem. And that phase can go in a very dangerous direction.

What is this game?

What is this?

But how?

To make a conclusion: I don’t believe that there is a “new normal.” If we do nothing about climate change, if we do nothing about domestic violence, if we do nothing about sans-papiers, if we do nothing about hate crimes, if we do nothing about equality and inclusivity, if we don’t improve human rights, for me, there is nothing changed with Covid-19. Nothing changed. It is the same violence at home. It is the same violence in the streets, it is the same inequalities in every level of society, it is still the same distraction, same language, same posters everywhere.

 

ADDITIONAL TEXT 1: 4.9.2020

ARTIST + ACTIVIST = ARTIVIST

 

It took me 30 minutes to make this poster. I am happy with it. I showed it to many people to get some opinions before it goes public: some are Swiss nationals, some are foreign-national Swiss, some are foreigners who have never been to Switzerland. I received different questions. It quickly became social research for public opinion. Here I will only share three examples that I find very interesting.

By a Swiss citizen: “Do you pull a gun to a country that supports your art, gives you awards and money?”

My answer to this comment has been, “No, I do not pull a gun at all. I use my freedom of speech and my artistic freedom to address one very important national problem. First of all, it is necessary to question this topic. Second of all, if we want foreign-nationals’ inclusion in this country, we should honor and appreciate different perspectives and opinions. Let us bring diverse perspectives and share our opinions. It is also good for society to remember one little thing: being reminded about a subject that foreign-nationals can’t be made guilty for. It is much more a reaction to far conservatives to show that a foreign-national can also speak with their vocabulary and graphics to them.”

By a foreign-national Swiss artist: “Are you safe with your permit to stay in Switzerland? They can kick you out of the country if immigration office hears about this poster and if that office is dominated by conservatives …”

My answer to this comment has been, “No, I am not in a safe situation and yes, if the immigration office doesn’t have any consideration for artistic freedom or freedom of speech as a fundamental rule of democracy, I can be in trouble very soon. And if it would be the case, it means that there is a serious fundamental problem in the bureaucracy. It would be censorship! And I do not understand one thing! Just because I am a foreign-national artist in Switzerland should I just shut up in front of violence and inequality?” Concerning this issue, I would like to invite everybody to read the “Manifesto on Artists’ Rights” written by Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera. In December 2012, Bruguera was invited to Switzerland to attend a meeting of experts on the subject of artistic freedom and cultural rights held by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. In this gathering, Bruguera read out this manifesto on Artists’ Rights which argues the vital importance of freedom of artistic expression, and that it is the duty of governments to assure it. In this manifesto, there is one point which divulges clearly this unspoken problem that concerns any foreign artist in any foreign country. It says, “[…] On the other hand, there are artists who are internationally acknowledged and admired because of being artivists in their countries of origin and who, at the given time, for one reason or another, migrate and establish themselves temporarily in other countries where they find a new type of censorship, a censorship that relegates, pigeonholes, and sets them inside a limited mental geography where they are only allowed to talk critically of the country they come from and not the country to which they have arrived. This is a situation of censorship in which artists are relegated to being unidimensionally political: a used political object. […]” I am not an internationally acknowledged artist, but I am an artist. I am a human being, and I think it is already enough to fight against violence and hatred wherever I am.

By a foreigner artist who has never been to Switzerland: “If it becomes a scandal, then most probably they will target you as a foreigner artist who attacks Switzerland: you may end up this journey alone … Aren’t you afraid of being excluded?”

My answer to this comment has been, “First of all, this work came up very quickly and strongly enough that I didn’t need something extra to be convinced. I care about the opinions of the people who surround me, but so far, nothing was strong enough to keep me away from doing this poster. The art world that we want to romantically believe it may not really exist. There are humorless problems in the art world, as much as in any other field. Also, I didn’t take the position of being an artist in this society to belong to a bubble. Unfortunately, yes, most of the corners in the art field are closed bubbles, but I made my choice to become an artist in the name of finding the truest version of myself and finding the most peaceful way to interact with life and people. Imagining the art world as something perfect and as if it is a healthy environment are very sweet ideas. Nevertheless, I do not rely on a dream of “one day…”. I consciously embrace the archetype of the fool. And I try to do it in the most positive and direct way. Again, honestly, with the posters of this extreme political party in Switzerland, I feel attacked. They bother a lot of people, and I do this poster because I am obviously convinced sufficiently that somebody has to open the topic again, or remind of it, or underline these very serious questions about it. The platform to show my poster in public space is the real value. If my poster was supposed to be hung within the fair’s walls I wouldn’t do such a thing. I wouldn’t use such a language. Because the project, from the beginning, was considered to be placed like any other informative publicity, I imitated these disturbing posters by replacing it with another serious problem that foreigners can’t be blamed for. I am sure people in the art field in Basel will definitely understand and even empathize with this project.”

 

ADDITIONAL TEXT 2: 15.9.2020

A RECENT EXAMPLE:

 

These days I am back in Switzerland and there is everywhere this poster of SVP in which there is a big, fat, blond person with an E.U. flagged belt sitting on the map of Switzerland. The new vote is to repel E.U. citizens from coming to live and to work in Switzerland. Yesterday something coincidentally happened: I was in a bar with a foreign-national friend. Then our German friends were attacked while they were parking their car with a German licence plate in the city center. They were attacked by an old Swiss national person who was yelling to them, “You fucking German job killers!” An immediate reactive question echoed in our minds for hours …

Who steals whose job and whose money?

Who steals whose job and whose money?

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Who stores in its banks the dark corrupt money of the world? Who let these inhuman monsters from all over the world continue to make wars and catastrophes in the globe and let them earn more money? Who stores this money? Who helps them to make more profit? In which banks? Where are those banks? Hallo!!! Sorry!

GRÜEZI!

Mercury Retrograde

On Sunday, two close friends surprised me. They came from Geneva to Basel. We had dinner

together in a little sweet restaurant where a friend of theirs, whom I haven’t met before, joined our table. This new friend is a Swiss architect in Basel. They are a smart, ambitious, and very determined person. While we were getting to know each other, they told me which exhibitions  they have been visiting during the day in town. This new friend started to tell their strongly held opinion about Deana Lawson’s solo show Centropy in Kunsthalle Basel.

This architect friend was aggressively against this exhibition that I loved and appreciated. They were saying that ‘the show was inappropriate, because it was a typical exhibition where we were in front of images in which vulnerable people were exposed with fantasized scenes’. The architect who has an African descendant father was very sensitive to seeing Black people’s semi-vulnerable, semi-fantasized exposures. They were crucially against any type of romanticism regarding Black issues. The architect had difficulty to find any reason to do such a show. They were demonstrating how even Black artists capitalize on Black issues for their work. ‘In the end, this type of exhibition does not change anything in the lives of these communities. It remains just a topic to talk about for a while, then when the exhibition has finished everything (the ideas behind, the contacts behind, the points of view behind) will be consumed.’ That was the general point of their argument. At least that was what I was subjugated to. The way they were expressing themself with their hand gestures, accentuation, and posture, and how they were so sure about what they were saying, in the end everything was too aggressive for me.

They made me go maybe too far in my mind.

What I heard is not my opinion. But I find their standpoint very interesting to reflect on. They are a young architect who is interested moderately in contemporary art. They had no clear image or idea about the art world, art institutions, the process of doing art, ideas and conversations, or the limits of an exhibition. They come as public to see something finished. When a viewer in art comes to see a show, they don’t know what happened during the preparation. They don’t know what was coming in the artist’s or the curatorial team’s minds. Exhibition visitors who are not into art come in and maybe read a paper of which they understand almost nothing. Because potentially the text is considered too sophisticated and poetic than something based on shared truths. It is not someone’s fault. Two different perceptions, so two different vocabularies.

It made me recall an old memory. I was twentythree years old when I discovered Boris Mikhailov’s photography. It blew my mind. It moved me to another level, with new rules and new potentials for life – for our collective life. Even today I get goosebumps and full of indescribable emotions when I recall the first discovery. Aesthetically it was breathtaking. It pushed all of my buttons. I was working in Tel-Aviv at that time and met some ex-Soviet Union citizens. I shared with them my opinion about my new favorite photographer. They were not happy with my affection; my love for this photographer. They were telling me how it is easy to “play ” with people who are abandoned by the system. They were telling me that the photographer, to be able to make these naked, scenographic images, paid them money. They were saying that Mikhailov was “renting ” people for his personal interest, telling them how to stand, what parts of their body to expose, which type of faces would be the most characteristic, etc. And this topic remained in my mind. Even today in the Western culture, Boris Mikhailov’s photography is considered genius, but when we are talking about these photos with ex-Soviet Union citizens who are not in the art bubble, they disagree. They think Boris Mikhailov is selfish. They think that these photos didn’t change anything in these people’s lives for the better. They think that they have been only used.

These different interpretations of a work of art ask automatically: how is the role of an artwork considered in different life experiences? For those who are not in the art field, there is an invisible naïveté behind what an ideal artwork should be or should do. When I use the word naïveté, I use it from an Oriental perspective in which naïveté is something pure and empathic – not like the notion of naïveté in the Western world where it is considered more or less similar to stupidity. It is positively naïve to think that art can have enormous effects in society. I believed in that as well  before I started to study art. I thought what an artist and art institutions do is seriously guiding the society’s perspective … But in the end, I find out that it is not that easy to have even a proper voice in art. When we are far from this field, there is this belief that everything in art is for the sake of good. But it is not exactly the case. The art world is problematic as much as any other field in the world. The art world is an organic entity which reflects and contains exactly the same problems.

When an artist works on a new show, it might look from outside as if there is socio-political research, reflection, or sensitivity behind it, which is meant to dominate the process of preparing a show. This can be correct only if the artist has such an intention, or the show has been conceptualized in that way before. And then the artist is invited to be part of it under that condition. Otherwise there is no pressure to show something socio-political.

I don’t know personally how the preparation of the Deana Lawson show went. One can easily find the exhibition text and the press materials online. There, I think Lawson’s intention is very clear. I find the exhibition fantastic. Before going to any social point, let’s concentrate on the experience between the oeuvre and its viewer. I saw this exhibition three times. Each time, with each step I took, Lawson’s photography was whispering. People in the photos were in the room. The size and the framing were well done according to the room’s capacity. Projectors from the little rooms behind were evoking a vintage sound. This sound was turning all the pictures in the big room alive. The mirror frames were abductive. I was at these people’s houses and they were in the Kunsthalle. This dialogue was very powerful. I could look them in the eyes. I could listen to their murmurs. Whatever the resonance one might get from this sensation: good or bad, in the end, it was opening a lot of boxes in my mind. Some boxes proclaim gentleness, love, and life, while some other boxes may cross the line of one’s capacity for the unknown. We are invited to deal with dilemmas. It is something very courageous to dare: to not be only nice. Then, I cannot compare Lawson with Mikhailov. Because their approaches with the protagonists are different. While Mikhailov is ordering, Lawson is dialoguing. And this one seriously important piece of information distinguishes the results of their practices.

Obviously, lots of sensitive boxes opened in the architect’s mind. Even though I understand their opinion, I think it is too easy to judge something without knowing what’s behind it. When someone comes to an exhibition with an expectation or preconditioned mindset, it ends most of the time with deception. Because art shows are physically public more than anything, sometimes viewers in art find the courage to scream all over what they think, before making research, or before reading text, or before knowing about the artist. Experiencing art is not only going upstairs in the Kunsthalle, looking to the objects for ten minutes, then building up your own uninformed judgment. There is tons of work behind it. Just because the exhibition is public, it doesn’t mean one can consume the show in two seconds, if one is not someone closely familiar with the domain. I personally consider it disrespectful. Sometimes an artwork is not even visible. Sometimes it doesn’t even exist. And if you are not interested in trying to understand the concept, it is your own problem. When you have problems with a work of art, make a research before exploding. Read about the artist, read about the curator, read about the idea behind. It is that same level when one does not try to understand conceptual art. Any impulsive, personal judgement of an artwork shows its degree of seriousness when it is expelled. The one-sided perspective that I heard from the architect last night was a blunt preaching for ethics: with their dominating voice and never letting people speak; with their hand gestures and never letting us raise our hands; with their assertive mimics and never letting us be shocked. They were way too sure of themself. We had no space for our opinions. Or we had to not have any opinion except theirs.

Ethical preachings: ethical preachings without collecting enough information are easy to do. There are quite important differences between questioning ethical rules and preaching them.

Ethical questions can be asked in art. Any show which has an objective to change the world has to be prepared to be asked those questions. But if a show hasn’t been organized with that specific aim, normally it provides more angles for an individual reception and evocation. Art and art institutions try to bring consecutive questioning and not making a point. And that is already enough.

I try to understand the ethical problems that showed up during the dinner. I try to discern the

differences between the universal ethics with Western ethics which dominate the thinking here in Europe. I recall an incident where an artist exhibited a video with footage taken in northern Iraq, in Kurdistan. They were there a couple of times to document people. I saw the raw images while we discussed the artwork several times. And most of the time, I was reminding them to consider ethical implications. They had the full freedom to do whatever they wanted, but it was my duty to remind them. At that time, they were confused about what to do with the large amount of footage in which there were distressed kids, adults in ruined, bombed houses, landscapes, and city panoramas, conversations, etc. We talked many times that it shouldn’t look like a problematic Western attitude, one who is going to the “crisis zone” to make a documentation, and then when they come back to their “democratic country ,” they do a collage of the oppressed people to show to Western people in a super aesthetic and romantic way. Especially this romanticization of the material: the footage in slow-motion. Yes, it works well. The aesthetic result is beautiful. But I personally find it unethical. In the end, obviously, the attention that has been spent was not at all about the ethics, it was more about the look. I don’t know what happened. Was it the stress of finishing their project for the show that pushed them to be unethical? Or when it comes to art, do we think that we have the right to ignore universal ethics? Or in this case, it is not only about ethics, maybe it is more about how artists can position themselves!

When an artist is assuming their position as an artist, sometimes they can also walk on the border of ethics with all the potentials of their works. There is no problem with questioning ethics … What I try to say is that artists when we are walking on the border of ethics, maybe we have to be conscious, aware about it. We have to assume it. And if it is necessary we should mention it in our explanations. What I try to underline is the importance of transparency. But if we walk on the border of ethics unconsciously, we should also expect to receive ethical questions by viewers about our artistic engagement’s ethical problems. Because when there is no conscious awareness, no clear artistic position, and no fair explanation, it can become easily problematic. Art is not something perfect. Artists are not perfect. Of course, there are artists who are down to abuse the system like any neoliberal capitalist. That is not something new. But these artists, after a while, if there is no strong power-holders’ support behind them, they dis- appear. But if the artist is taking their position as a provoker, or as a fool, or as a politician, or as a documentarian, or as an activist, or as a journalist, or as a thinker, etc., there is no problem to express the artistic freedom and the freedom of speech.

I do love the definition of artist by Carl G. Jung. Jung didn’t literally define artist, but throughout

the texts the notion of artist is graspable. Carl G. Jung evokes a simple circle. Inside of the circle, imagine that there is everything that we know: known-unknown. And outside of this circle, there is everything that we don’t know: unknown-unknown. Jung imagined artists and scientists as people who are at the border of this circle. They suggest that we use our four cognitive senses: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition to make the unknown-unknown, partially known-unknown. To update the circle. To enlarge the circle. To understand the circle. This image resonated in me from the first moment that I read it. It makes much sense to me. We artists can position ourselves as someone close to the border, but still inside of the circle, or we can stand on the border(s), or we can dive into the unknown.

THE OCEAN OF DARKNESS

I metaphorically imagine the border of this circle like a beach. Imagine it is completely dark and you put your feet in the ocean. You don’t see anything, but something intrigues you to walkin that water. As long as your feet touch to the ground, you may find a way to go back to the beach. But if you lose the touch of your feet from the ground, one can lose the mind in the ocean of darkness: the unknown-unknown. Not all artists, not all scientists come close to the beach. Not all artists, not all scientists dare to put their feet into the ocean. Not all artists, not all scientists attempt to experiment with life in the ocean of darkness where you actually challenge your-unknown-self. I believe that trying to keep your feet touching the ground is very difficult. Once we start to walk

in the water, it is easy to disappear. It is how one can become a fool in life, this is what I consciously try. Keeping the foot on the ground is keeping the connection with the ordinary world. I do appreciate every artist and scientist who dares to get in this ocean: artists who define their own position in society, artists who bring the sounds of the waves to the people who have never been on the beach.

 

Shaping to Love and Manipulating to Care

La Parade de l’aveuglement, 2020

There is serious evidence that the Chinese government is committing a major crime on Uighur citizens in the north-western territory of Xinjiang, in China. Reliable journalists use the word genocide. For more than three years, in the independent media, there were many accounts of

Uighurs who ran away from the country. They tried to make their voice heard, and they were actually very powerful with that. But no country in the world wanted to care or comment on this inhumanity, because the world is dependent on China. To keep the international dialogue as it is, and for their profit-balance to capitalistically grow, they preferred to stay silent. But when the coronavirus spread, Trump needed to find something to blame China for. Suddenly in the world media, Uighurs were for some weeks on the front page. It became a striking example to show the hierarchy of power, how the economic world-runner countries are dominating the cultures and politics of other countries through the media.

Our humanitarianism is not based on humanity. It is based on the economy.

When I was little, I was into the world atlas. I was dreaming to travel the world, reading names of the countries, their mountains, their seas, oceans, lakes, their flags, their neighbors. I was dreaming of sailing in the water, walking the world, writing scenarios in which I fly. At the age of five or six I was not ignoring any places in the world atlas. I was unconsciously careful to share the same curiosity with each country. Then I became older. With time, I became aware that I was watching so many American movies that I started to look at New York maybe more than Buenos Aires. There were mostly Turkish or American movies on the television, some European, and rarely Japanese. Around the age of seven, as a TV-obsessed kid, I had much more of a stereotypical idea of how New York or the USA looked like than the country where I lived. I remember, around that age, my route for traveling the world had changed. I didn’t care anymore for the idea of going to Uzbekistan or Chad or Peru or New Zealand… My curiosity, my attention on the atlas, was modified. It was shifted. It became unconsciously dominated by Western culture. I was bombarded enough by a certain type of image, so as to fantasize life more than what I could  invent by myself; with my own imagination.

Today, I believe this is the case for a lot of people. We receive first local and national news, and then USA’s, then if there is time left, other powerful Western countries’ information. Or maybe (!) there is an extreme situation or a natural disaster in a forgotten country. This supremacy brings obedience. When I was ten to twelve I was made to believe the Western world was much better and happier on every level for a kid’s mind. If I could be there, I could be freer. I could have much more fun. It was suggesting for me the feeling of being inferior. This situation is not letting you be only who you are. Hence, it implements the image of you are not living good enough. Because, in the place where I was living, the same beautiful houses or clothes or happy people or richness or glamour or sex or light or the same drink that I started to care about weren’t there. At that age, most movies were having a happy ending. They were telling me that if I dreamed and believed, then my dreams could come true. If I could go there, I could have my happy ending. This is basically what capitalism is. It makes you someone who wants to have things and not to be. At least I see now for myself that when I was little I had been abducted, then hooked.

I wanted to learn English, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese, but not Uighur or Kurdish. Today I know the reasons why it happened like that.

It reminds me of La Fontaine’s fable between a wolf and a dog … Wolf looks to the dog and says, “You have a nice roof. You have also food, but what is on your neck?” The dog answers, “That it is my necklace.”

Regarding the crime on Uighurs, and why we don’t react, is going parallel with our conscious orientation toward influences. Once someone is hooked by the system, with our limited biological capacity, we perceive and react where our head is pulled. Media is the volunteer guide on this journey that we call life.

So my question: if you heard about the Uighurs’ current situation when it was on the front page, do you still remember it? This crime has been happening for years. It has been on the headlines this year for a couple of weeks, but it is still happening. I am not directly asking what you did about it! I question the simulacrum.

With a famous example to explain: What is the difference between a toilet paper commercial that you see on the TV and the news about this genocide? They have the same time and space in a limited time and space. Nevertheless we are more oriented to the toilet paper commercial. It is superior and more controlling, because you can go to the supermarket and buy that toilet paper.  This is what one individual’s capacity permits. One can’t go alone and stop the genocide. But comparing their effects in our emotions: not being able to stop the guilt of genocide stimulates us to prove that at least we are capable of buying that toilet paper.

The absence of basic reality calls into question what the reality is and if it even exists.

Today, the world holds its breath to see who will win the election in the USA. We should keep in mind that it is an election in the biggest economy and the biggest military power in the world. The value that we give to this election is so high that it imperializes us. We are deeply captivated by the competition between Trump and Biden. Trump was so bad and disgusting already that it made Biden automatically the good guy. There is no third option. The choice can only be made between these two and it already conditions everything. Because it is in between two, and we have to pick one of the worst, one must be better than the other. This better one, after a short while, can look like the solution for everything when you have no other option!

Since weeks it’s all about this election. And yesterday Biden officially won. The majority of the people that I can directly connect with on social media go crazy happy with this result. Alright. But first, let’s double-check with eyes wide open. We shouldn’t forget that it was a quite similar case for Barack Obama. They were the “hope.” The world was so happy to see a Black president in the USA. Me too. But we shouldn’t forget that USA will always put the USA first. During Obama’s administration, U.S. military forces launched airstrikes or military raids in at least seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. It continued to kill people, to control countries, change regimes, and change others’ economies, manipulate others’ resources, support gun production and circulation, pumping oil and billions of other dirty things. On the surface, Obama was the good cosmetic tool to cheer up first the USA, and then the world. And since yesterday everybody is sharing the picture of Kamala Harris. I am also happy to see for the first time a Black woman as vice president in that country. But we shouldn’t forget that the USA will continue to bomb and to kill civilians in other countries. It will continue to pull ist leashes all over the globe. And this vice president and the new hope called Biden will continue to make the same war decisions. They will sign their names under these declarations. That will happen because of the system. They will follow the path that the USA was on before in the big picture.

Yes, giving visibility to minorities and oppressed people, and establishing democratic human rights is fundamental. Today, the visibility of minorities is necessary more than any other time. But everything is not black and white. Just because it is Biden and they are a Democrat, it doesn’t make them an angel. Just because Harris is a Black Asian woman, it doesn’t make them an angel. I think we have a right to cheer up and be happy to get rid of Trump. Nevertheless, we should be wise and keep trying to understand what is within.

If the goal is bringing a livable world to everyone in the big picture, behind the surface it doesn’t matter if it is done because of someone’s gender, race, or social class. Because the goal, the collective goal is expected to be beyond any terminology. But in the small picture, when it is on the institutional and even individual level, those who are in power, voluntarily or involuntarily, consciously or unconsciously, may use the same patriarchal way of communication, same way of dominance, same way of marketing, same way of control, same way of distribution, same way of manipulation, same way of feeding the hunger of power, to be able to receive the needed money in the name of the big change. And meanwhile they are making improvements to their public reputation in their vitrines with the power of showing oppositions. Here, I use the word vitrine as an image to describe politics (in every sense: governmental politics, daily life politics, business politics, etc.) that are framed to be “good,” “new,” “progressive” but underneath are still operating in the same way as before.

This is an important image of stupefaction, because the same power structure of this established patriarchal two-choice system casts a show on every level of society. When I say every level of society, it means the big patriarchal system is composed of little systems and it simultaneously produces new little cells from ist own genetics to keep the big system alive. Therefore, in a casual way to say, anything public has to have a vitrine: to show and to suggest a form for an attractive living. And they have to give to that form a social value: good or bad, beautiful or ugly. This value has a tendency to create trends, because of the social and biological necessities for improving: a better and easier way for living / surviving.

Today in the Western vitrines, “progressive” power holders (new hopes) give visibility much more to non-dominants. They try to hire nondominants. They talk about non-dominants. They try to promote non-dominants. They try to create new role models for non-dominants. They try to create jobs for non-dominants. And that is great. But the method of how it is done can still be a patriarchal domination. We shouldn’t just look at the vitrine of situations. We should not mix the political appearance of the vitrine with the real purposes behind it. It is extremly problematic to see a queer person using their queerdom as a promotion to reach goals such as becoming the first openly queer U.S. secretary of defense. By doing this pinkwashing on the vitrine one shows open-mindedness, an acceptance for queer people in the military, while one’s queerdom has nothing to do with the real purpose of military. Or someone exemplified as a good Christian mom becomes an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, someone who was sponsored by ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom: a far-right group that files cases and lobbies for policies which support the advancement of an extreme vision of society; they support recriminalizing homosexuality in the USA and criminalization abroad; they defend sterilization of transgender people abroad; align homosexuality with pedophilia; and argue that homosexuality will destroy Christianity and society.) Maybe this person won’t be able to go to extremes in the USA, but for sure, they continue to support hate groups’ activities abroad. Maybe at first second it is cute to imagine a queer military chief or to see someone who plays the part of being a good Christian mom. But these adjectives don’t justify any violence, dominance, or hate. Maybe in the 21st century, patriarchy doesn’t have a gender or one face or one form. Maybe it is just equal to building or keeping an empire, a system, in which domination is privileged over and valued more than coexistence.

When we look at those who have got patriarchal big power, we can find clear traces of heroism in their speeches. In the beginning, they promise serious changes for the good of everybody, but generally, after a short while, one can discover behind this “hero”: a hunger for power, a hunger for climbing in the social hierarchy, and not much empathy nor vision for togetherness. And some of these people construct today algorithms to earn even more money, to get even more power than any time before. And their narcissism, their techniques for public manipulation, their approach to “winning ” in capitalist life: these sick qualifications generate, embody, and prioritize today toxic role models who are in every field to promote arrogant selfishness by saying, “look at me I did it, you can also do it,” as if everybody has equal conditions. By doing that they pump individualism and automatically a separation. With today’s speed of technology and with the platforms in mass media and social media, these power-and-money maniacs spread “justifiable” greed in the belief that this is the promised freedom.

I believe one of the biggest human failures is to be right rather than be effective. There are still not enough efficient methods for transparent representation of main purposes: horizontal dialog; a new type of platform for truth-telling without any fear put forth by vertical systems; or basically, a new way of thinking for new economical systems. Yet, the most problematic is finding the money. It makes automatically all the same old dependencies continue to apply: building their own soldiers; using the same language of militarism; firing critics and hiring only people who say yes to them; using the names and the adjectives of all minorities and oppressed people on their vitrines; doing the same style of discrimination with the cosmetic help of positive discrimination.

Against any type of violence and dominance, I am down for positive discrimination. But don’t do it as makeup. Make it consecutive and transparent with your main purpose. The patriarchal system has to change. And positive discrimination is part of the healing process, but this healing should be done with shared truths. And we should remember that in the big picture, shared truths don’t have a gender, a race, or a social class. In the heart of the idea of empire, shared truths are always egocentric; they get bent and become post-truths. Adjectives are the most playful mind-confusing tools for posttruthing on the vitrines. Patriarchy’s main central body is made of domination and then violence. And money is the measurement for almost everything in this selfishness. We shouldn’t live in a culture of ‘take this money and shut up.’ Maybe we should immediately start to get used to using truth-telling and transparency as a new supplementary tool for measurement parallel to money.

A patriarchal body tries always to be determined and dominant to reinforce its reasons for its selfish being. You can see, think, judge everything from many, many different angles.

When I listen to the speeches of post-truthers, we all hear incredible rhetoric. Those posttruthers know how to speak, how to conceal the central problem and make us confused with one little detail. They can point to something far away as the reason for a problem; playing the victim role while persecuting the real victims. Those people can convince a rock and get ist juice. Today it is crucial for all of us to pay attention to fact-checking: to understand how those rock-juicers react when they confront any critic. Do they honestly listen, reflect, and give a proper answer? Or do they become a missionary, blurring the image / problem and tell you at first, ‘Everything is a question of perception,’ and then explain to you their perception while they try to hook you for their own beliefs and missions which are most probably chained to money.

Yes! Everything is a question of perception. But how and where do you put this perception? Can we ever bring about coexistence with a selfish perception? Can we ever bring about collective oriented coexistence with this archaic game of domination? I don’t think so. Because my understanding for coexistence is to dance with you, and not to play musical chairs.

When I was little, I wasn’t only obsessed with the world atlas and television. I was also obsessed with the sky, with the stars, with the mythologies behind them. I can still find exactly where are the planets that day, constellations, galaxies, far stars. From that passion I hold two concepts of coexistence in my mind, which always helped me to know how to handle these rock-juicers. First type is like the sun which wants every planet and thing to turn around it. And then there is this dance of kinship like between Sirius A and Sirius B. They hang around each other in harmony and look as one from far away.

And you? Would you like me to turn around you?

or

Would you like to dance with me?

Discourse in a nightmare: July 2020, AdK, Berlin

My dear family, we have to find a direction, a direction that will make us grow. But it is not a material growth. It is the growth of this togetherness. This merger of great energy. To wherever or to whomever we target it, those who confront it will suffer. Our togetherness has charged enough. Our silence is death. And they are scared. But who are they? Is this one who played with your feelings, and those who squeezed you in their hands? Those who tricked you by saying, ‘I love you’? And those who dominated, and then ate all your hopes and tears. Those who consumed everything and never got full, have today us in front of them. Because we had enough.

The Future Is Genderless

The Future is Genderless, 2020

I have problems. I have problems when it is about how I am physically perceived. From outside, I am expected to be a man. But I am not. Ok, I have a beard. I generally put on stereotypical man clothes. And these are undeniable molds. But I feel genderless. I work on the core of things. And in the core there is no gender. Resonance, light, energy can not have a gender. It can have different physical forms but the thing that they are made of is the same.

Does it sound like intellectual masturbation?

I have to confess that I am tired of rectifying people. I am tired of not being seen as a person, as an earthling, rather than being a man. I don’t want to be only a male artist. I don’t want to be only a woman artist. I don’t want to be only a non-binary artist. I don’t want to be only a queer artist. I don’t want to be only a homosexual artist. I don’t want to be only a trans artist. I don’t want to be only a foreign artist. I don’t want to be only a Turkish artist. I don’t want to be only a Swiss artist. I don’t want to be only an Armenian artist. I don’t want to be only a French artist. I don’t want to be only a Smyrniote Levantine artist. I don’t want to be only a Jewish artist. I don’t want to be only a Muslim artist. I don’t want to be only a Christian artist. I don’t want to be only an esoteric artist. I don’t want to be only a beautiful artist. I don’t want to be only an ugly artist. I don’t want to be only a white artist. I don’t want to be only a successful artist.

I don’t want to be only a duffer artist.

I don’t want to be only an artist!

I just don’t want to be tagged.

Basta!

I just want to be an earthling.

I am ubuntu: I am because we are.

Maybe the most hurtful thing that I have to deal with most frequently, is my male look. I am tired of being put in that box. I don’t feel any urge or need to have surgery to accomplish anyone’s expectation to put me in another box in the name of releasing me from what I want to get rid of.

Burn these boxes!

If it is necessary. Take this as a declaration.

I cut my penis.

When I start to work on a new idea, the moment I know what I want to deliver, I start to search for a body of expression. Most of the time, I prefer the form of a sculpture or a performative video. This time, it is a video titled The Future Is Genderless.

Next week, we will shoot it in my atelier. We will put the camera directly from above. I will be sitting on a chair. I will cut my fingernails and dead skin around. Meanwhile, there will be a radio station diffusing permanently the same sentence which says, “The future is genderless.” I believe in fluidity. That is why I experience fusion. I think, reflect, sense love. Simply the notion of love. Since when does love have a gender?

This repeated sentence, “The future is genderless,” should and shouldn’t be misinterpreted. It may sound provocative for the second wave feminists who think that the future is woman; or for those barbaric men who run the world for thousands of years and still try to keep their power and everything about it as it is.

Sometimes, it is sad to see those who seriously work for a change, but they are at the same time blind to make it large and inclusive enough to everyone. So confusing… When we are talking about equality, we should talk about equality. There are people beyond notions of woman or man. There is another level of perceiving love and life. In this beyond-gender perception, the only importance is accepting yourself and the other person as they are. Physical fluidity is part of the concept of being fluid and not being determined in mind and in body. In this way, the notion of time-space becomes the proper fine line to truly experiment with life. One listens to time, body, and spirit simultaneously, and then according to their purity and honesty, one can become convinced to show the equivalent physical appearance or any type of equivalent expression: instead of what society expects from them how to look “correctly.” First an awareness should develop, and then we can have a constructive conversation reciprocally.

I will have a fake penis in this video. Right after cutting my nails and dead skins, I take out my penis and start giving it a shape with scissors. With a serious and painless expression, I will sculpt it. Piece by piece until there is nothing. It is not a fantasy. I know it is slapstick. But it is also something very serious. I am fluid. I do want to have a safe space without your pressure. I want to be free from any binary imposed by society while I am already free from all separative adjectives that might be given to myself. I refuse determinism.

BINARISM: is a form of sexism. Until the moment that one disagrees it doesn’t recognize non-binary gender roles and identities. And this concept believes unconsciously that it is what is supposed to be.

HETERONORMATIVISM: until the moment that one disagrees, everybody is heterosexual. And this concept believes unconsciously that it is what is supposed to be.

I can be a bearded woman. I can be non-binary.

I can be just myself.

We never had full liberalism. Capitalism killed liberalism. Real liberalism provides equality in opportunity. But capitalism does not recognize such a thing. Once one holds power, they will do their best to get even more power and do not consider equal opportunities. That means there has never been a pure liberalism. It has not been experienced yet. Because true liberalism is supposed to protect and improve the freedom of the people as the main concern of politics. It considers government as the necessary organ to protect people from being abused by others, but it also recognizes government itself as a potential threat. Civil protection organs should secure life and liberty, but their power may also be turned against the idea of liberalism. The problem, then, is to conceive a system which gives the government the power to prove the necessary protection for individual liberty, but also it should prevent those who govern from abusing that power. Imagine a thousand people, there, nine hundred ninety nine say “yes” to something, but there is one person who is against it. This one single person should be listened to for their argument. What are the reasons for this one person who does not agree? The moment that we give a voice to this single person, for me, that is the real liberalism, and not what we have been taught. Although this person says, ‘I disagree because of X,’ (whatever X is) the most important is giving them a space to breathe. A system that allows this one person to disagree. So, at the end, this video project is not only about the binary, it is also about this one single person being able to disagree.

With everything that we do with love, binaries should expire. The future is genderless. We should always keep in mind what comes next. This is part of our social responsibility. If you do not include us, sorry, I disagree.

Party!

A Home at the End of the World

A&a, 2019

Imagine a big party organized by non-binary, trans community for non-binary, trans community. But everyone can also invite their reliable, trustful friends to this special gathering. And imagine in this party after a certain hour people start to take off their t-shirts on the dance floor. For most of the people in the party, some had gender confirmation surgeries, or some are currently transitioning, or some are not planning such a physical step, but still feeling sincerely the belonging to this specific community. All may find a safe zone to feel physically free and remember to be naked publicly without any judgment or fear. They do not take their tops off for anything sexual! It is just a celebration like any other party. And everybody is just drunk and happy, and some want to get clothes off in that humid space. In the heteronormative world only cis males are “allowed” to do that. If women get topless on the dance floor, they would be tagged to be a ‘whore’ or a ‘pervert.’ It would be considered like ‘a sexual invitation.’ And if a trans person would be topless in any heteronormative dance floor, how would it be taken? Could everybody be respectful to surgical scars on the chest of a trans man? Could everybody be gentle and generous to keep doing their own business?

Now remember this party has been organized by non-binary, trans community for non-binary, trans community. A cis heterosexual male ally, who had an amazing night, takes his t-shirt off on the dance floor. People who don’t know this person get scared, and they don’t allow them to be topless. The reasoning behind was that he, as a cis heterosexual male person, he could do it whenever he wants and wherever he wants. Maybe his toplessness was reminiscent of daily life struggles. And the organizing community was not feeling safe enough when they saw this. This person was informed. They had two options: they could put back on their t-shirt, or they had to leave the party.

I do understand this restriction and I do agree with it. After long debates, to be able to clarify my mind, I had to separate the theoretical thoughts from the daily life experience, because there are still so many serious obstacles to reunite them. Just because theory and practice don’t confirm each other, it doesn’t mean one of them, or both of them, are wrong. Maybe they both are correct, but the reunification can’t happen if we collectively do not work on it. There are still many more steps to close the gap.

It is an aporia.

In theory, restricting this cis heterosexual male person to put their t-shirt on is a discrimination. And at some degrees, from a heteronormative perspective it can also look as if it is revenge oriented. As if that one non-binary, trans community wasn’t working for human rights, for equality and justice for everyone. As if to ghettoize. It can look simply like another path of separatism.

But! In practice, in daily life, what I wrote above, the sadly ending experience, a potential for an ideal plot project: a potential for gathering without any exclusion, but just harmony and acceptances of all, unfortunately doesn’t look possible. All patterns aren’t yet fused. There are strong lines, strong segregations in our sharpened boxes. In my community, we get tired of repeating our same sentences. We are tired of educating heteronormativity, tired of explaining everything again and again and again, then again …

Gender politics are very sensitive topics. But in the end I truly believe that every single person on this planet must have equal rights and respect. When I work with LGBTIQ+ community for our rights, I fight automatically for universal human rights, not only for LGBTIQ+ rights. Of course no community is perfect. In my community there are so many traumas and systematic threats everyday that some of us are permanently in defensive positions. These daily life oppressions in the heteronormative world push us to build invisible walls. It pushes us to live in a cocoon. And with time, and with each discrimination, our work for human rights pushes us to think only for ourselves; only for LGBTIQ+ rights. I think this is a result of not having been fundamentally recognized by a heteronormative society that still doesn’t embrace, doesn’t assure our lives. It looks like we work only for ourselves. But yet, it is not enough until politicians, social workers, teachers, in the end everybody, engages systematically themselves to make a change for embracing in the name of everyone. Until then our job on the community level won’t be enough.

I know we cannot push people to change. But we can make available certain forms of understanding. Some forms of understanding that others can be open to hearing. When one keeps trying to say something that others don’t want to hear – right there – there is this feeling of powerlessness and the feeling of waste. That is maybe why most of the engaged people are annoyed to explain everyday the same stuff. It looks like for the majority our stories don’t resonate.

I believe that one of the main reasons for the right-wing domination in the Western world is because of the catastrophic failure of the leftwing in the last decades. The Left, since decades unfortunately, has separated us. The Left got interested in fighting for human rights and against discrimination, but by working on that, we have been divided into little communities: there is a community for cis feminism, there is a community for queer feminism, there is a community for trans feminism, there is a community for Black trans feminism, on the other hand Black community, Native people community, differently abled people’s community, or religious minority community, community, community, community, and then each community’s demand for its own characteristic rights. And today each community finds itself working only for itself. Finally it has been acknowledged by the Left that we can’t separate gender, race, and class for a long time now. What happened? Why are we still separated from each other?

We can keep insisting to tell our real stories for a while, but after a certain amount of time, words are no more enough, we want to see change in our surroundings, not only hearing wishes about it. But, if these changes remain long-standing or neglected, the storyteller starts to get offended. People build up protective walls, become rigid and thick-skinned. So one little mistake can turn all the anger out. If it happens to you: hey, good luck! It’s like putting fuel in the fire. Resentment proclaims itself. Anger proclaims itself. All the potentials for reconciliation expire. At the threshold of tolerance: no more understanding lays behind it.

If you are not active against transphobia, you are automatically transphobic. Being / staying passive in a society which allows transphobia makes you directly transphobic. Not being anti-transphobic means you are transphobic.

If you are not active against racism, you are automatically racist. Being / staying passive in a society which allows racism makes you directly racist. Not being anti-racist means you are racist.

This cis heterosexual person in the non-binary / trans community party crossed the line. They have been selfish. They have been disrespectful. They didn’t know how to dance with an understanding. Didn’t we read enough? Didn’t we talk enough? Why just because you want to live your life as it is should we have fear or even have to die?

I Am Sorry

Look, 2021

“What do I have to say? Or, to put the question another way: Who am I to say anything?

Those who reject homosexual desire as perverse, unnatural, sick, and even those who consider themselves ‘tolerant,’ often deny homosexual men their masculinity and homosexual women their femininity.

The diversity of physicalities, the multitude of variations, of gestures, the diversity of ways to be female or male or somewhere

in between,

in motion,

else-

that diversity is blanked out again and again by distorting images and concepts.

And those images and concepts have always excluded someone like me, even as a child: left me out. They didn’t fit. They still don’t fit. It’s not that I don’t fit within the norms: the norms are not fitting in regard to me. Something has always been too short or too long, too heavy or too light; usually too unambiguous.

I don’t like monochrome.”[i]

 

I don’t like arriving to a destination. And I don’t like monochrome. As this is chronologically the last text for this journal, I don’t want to finish it monochrome. In the last chapters I wrote about post-truth, violence, anger that I touched, lived, or observed. I put my experiences. Each time I had the position of receiver or observer of the actions. Here in this text I also want to add one disturbing memory in which I engage to violence. I think it is important to share one different side in a story.

In 2002, I went abroad without my parents. With my school we went to Royan, France for a French language summer camp. For three weeks I stayed in a big house that belonged to a single parent and their child. I ate escargot for the first time with garlic sauce there. We were six early teenagers staying at the same house. All of us were coming from a different country. I guess the family was earning money like that. On the second or the third day, the house owner asked me if I was Muslim. I said no. I don’t know why, but they didn’t believe me. They asked if I have ever seen my mom’s hair. I didn’t understand this question for a moment. Then they asked again, but this time with hand gestures; they were mimicking burqa. I said, “No, my mom doesn’t wear burqa. She never covered her hair.” They didn’t believe me. They said something else, I didn’t understand. I went upstairs. Next day, I asked this question to my school teacher who organized the voyage. I asked them why the householder asked me such a thing. They said, in France in the school books when there is a representation of Turkey, there was a picture of a mosque with women in burqa in the front. I found it horrible. It made me angry. Because it wasn’t true. A couple of days later the house responsible told me, “Come here, I will introduce you to Mohammed.” I went to the kitchen. They said, “Look, this is Mohammed, they are from Saudi Arabia. Petrol petrol. You can speak Arabic.” They were laughing. I saluted Mohammed. But I told them that I don’t speak Arabic. The house-holder was like, what the fuck. They didn’t believe me. I said we don’t speak Arabic in Turkey. Mohammed confirmed. And the householder’s face looked more awkward than last time. I said, “Nice to meet you Mohammed.” Then I went upstairs. That ignorance made me angry. It couldn’t be true.

Since forever, in my “foreigner” journey, I hear this kind of stupid or ignorant question, custom-made by prejudgments. Sometimes, one gets surprised to hear that my parents are divorced. Sometimes they don’t believe that all my family is okay with my gender and sexual orientation, or even with my polyamorous heartbreaks. I hear a lot that I don’t look like someone from Turkey. When I hear that I get angry because they don’t even see what is laying under this question. When the approach of the questioner is going in the direction of race, it irritates me. I end the discussion: I immediately say, ‘I am a monkey, we are all monkeys.’ And when it comes to religion, in my teenagerhood I would say, I was violently against religion and everything about it. I tried to assimilate as best I could. Yes, I was an atheist. Yes, it is possible.

In my childhood I was taught that we weren’t Europeans and neither Middle Easterners. We were a bridge between two continents, we were the melting pot of cultures. But at the same time, our education system in my city, in Izmir, was subtly repeating all the time that we had to become European. Europe and its secularism was our direction. We were living in a laic country where religion and state were strictly separated. At the same time they were imprinting in us repugnance toward Arabs and Persians. Especially in my family, we strongly disliked them. When it comes to Middle East the only affinity belonged to Israel at that time. There was this knowledge in Turkish people’s minds that Europe was categorizing us with any other Middle Eastern country just because Turkey was populously a Muslim country. So, because we were feeling the urge to become European, to be able to change our outside view for Europeans, we had to first separate ourselves from people with whom we have been categorized. I grew up arabophobic, persophobic, then after 9/11, slowly, slowly, islamophobic as well.

But I didn’t perceive it like that in childhood. I was in a bubble of laic people: in a bubble that Turks, Greeks, Armenians, French, Italians, Muslims, Catholics, and Jews were mixed. Izmir was the representation of this. It was the laic, open-minded and progressivist face of the country. We were seculars and we were proud of being like that. It was also the case with my family. I question now if I remember someone in my surroundings, people with veil or burqa. I don’t remember any: except traditional cloth that one could see easily at bazaars or in small villages around. Meanwhile, unfortunately, objectification of the veil (in the end, the image of women with veil) was the symbol of ignorance and bad education. At least at that age I was made to believe in that. I was taught that these people with veil were brain washed by misinterpretation of religion. My education was telling me that we were “open-minded” people and we were supposed to be the majority. We had to educate these “ignorant people” who were wearing veils, and their families, and their children. We were calling them cockroaches.

Things started to change in Turkey in 2002. After that summer in Royan, in November, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the general elections. Rumors started in the country, some were saying, ‘Don’t trust Erdogan and AKP, they will change their face soon.’ Others were saying, ‘Finally someone who will dare to recognize everybody, they can bring respect for everybody.’ People on the west coast have always been shown off for our secularism and our “progressiveness” in the country. The west coast was the country’s economy, the brain: the only image on TV. We knew that in the eastern part of the country, in some villages there were no electricity, proper streets, even water. We have been taught that education was bad there, kids weren’t even able to go to school. There was zero investment. Actually that is how the AKP came to power. They promised to forgotten citizens basic equality. They promised freedom of speech and freedom of expression to everyone. They wanted to become a bridge between seculars and ghost citizens.

I remember during the election campaign that year, once Erdogan was asked in a TV show what they were thinking about homosexuals’ rights in the country; if they were thinking to legalize gay marriage like some other European countries. Their answer was very positive. They said they ‘want to consider giving homosexuals their rights.’ They said they ‘don’t find it correct that homosexuals are unprotected.’ As a thirteen year old gay teenager I was happy to hear that.

In the beginning AKP ’s hypocrisy wasn’t that visible. They did “good things” for the economy, they changed some laws which were still applicable from the 1980’s military putsch. Everything was changing slowly, slowly. But the biggest chaos happened when they opened the topic of women wearing headscarf. Until the moment they arrived, women couldn’t wear headscarf in the schools, at the universities, in governmental institutions, or state-owned companies, because the country and the constitution was laic. It suddenly became the biggest debate in the country – everybody was fighting on this topic. AKP was saying that if we want equality, we should give freedom of religious expression. The whole country got polarized very fast. The woman with headscarf was already the symbol of ignorance and bad education, then it became the symbol of every opposition. We seculars were completely against it. I remember how we were insulting people who wanted to give or have this freedom. We were telling them to go to live in Iran. I remember at the school we were talking often about if the country was going backwards. We were all politicized. We were scared. In a short period of time, me and my friends understood that we were actually living in a bubble. Until that moment, we believed we were the majority of the country. We started to see an increasing number of people wearing hijab. We were hearing that AKP was giving scholarships to economically challenged families’ children to go to school. But they were doing it silently, and they had only one condition: girls had to wear hijab, and boys had to report what was going on. The whole panorama in the country, in the city, in my collective life, transformed to something unbearable. Then the law changed and people who wanted to have free religious expression could wear hijabs. The problem was getting bigger and bigger. There was an empty building right in front of our apartment. In the same period of time, that empty building became a dormitorium for these young children who received scholarships. In a six floor building, on every floor there were maybe fifty teenage boys living. Total maybe 250–300. They were all disciplined. They had to perform prayer five times per day. They were between eleven to sixteen years old. Everybody who was living in the neighborhood was frustrated. We didn’t want to have a student complex with Islamic rules. Rumors, rumors, rumors … These types of dormitoriums were built everywhere in the city, in the country. The only thing we knew was that these new people in the city, mostly children, had been brought from very poor villages, from the other side of the country. And we locals didn’t welcome them. Everything was getting tight and annoying. On the television there was only polarization. Newspapers were politically segregated. I was also pushed and became islamophobic. Only in my twenties I figured this out.

As if dealing with homophobia for me wasn’t enough. As if fighting against ignorance wasn’t enough. That moment, the chaos atmosphere in the country about this hijab topic made me believe that being homosexual was being against islam. This wrong logic sounded correct to me. Somehow I assumed the idea of being queer was equivalent to something that only progressivists could understand and live. Therefore, with a wrong mental construction I identified everything about AKP as something not progressive so automatically anti-gay. I was scared to lose my already limited freedom.

Almost each time when I was crossing someone with hijab I kept calling them cockroach. They were the symbol of ignorance. I don’t like to write it, but it was engraved in my brain like that. The whole society was in a cultural war. And this cultural war was the perfect playground to make those tornado changes apply. Then one day I did something. One day I was in the metro with a friend. We were joking. We were laughing and calling the person right in front of us a cockroach. Of course they had been hearing our humiliation but hadn’t reacted to us so far. Their back was facing us. When we were arriving to the station where we had to step out, the announcement was

made for the next stop. Then it bleeped and I suddenly pulled the hijab of the person right in front of me with my right hand. I pulled their head maybe 30 or 40 cm backwards. They were screaming. We saw their face. Doors got open, and with my friend we ran away. We were laughing and panicking at the same time if AKP boys did see us, followed us. The first four or five minutes there was this feeling of pride, as if the half of the country, my teachers, my friends, my family would be proud of me.

In an hour, adrenaline went down. Inner dilemmas and frustration started to throw big rocks. That night I couldn’t eat dinner. I regretted my day. I was constantly thinking about the vio-lence that I had done. There was an earthquake in me. In the end I was ashamed of myself. I was the one who was rejected by society, by norms, by traditions, by culture. I was the one who was living violence because of their look, orientation, and beliefs. I was the one who was supposed to recall people to reflect on the notion of tolerance. How could I do the same thing to someone else?

Who am I to say anything?

Since then, I have this debt of owing an apology to them. I don’t remember their face and I am sure if we cross today, we couldn’t recognize each other.

I am sorry.

I don’t know your name.

You, that I pulled your hijab that day

in the metro.

I am sorry.

There is no excuse for that violence.

Since then, the country has changed a lot. It has been eighteen years now and people are still polarized. Everybody is angry. Seculars don’t recognize anything from old Turkey. Yesterday’s ghost citizens, today’s majority, AKP’s moderate islamists have also had enough with the dictator. Erdogan used religion and religions as their main tool to modify everything in their way. Today, there is no more justice, no more freedom. The youth has lost their hope. Everybody is looking for one little mistake of someone to explode; to discharge their anger. AKP and Erdogan lied to everyone, they played and cheated everyone. They changed everything. They destroyed operas, theaters, cinemas, parks, history, language, clothes, traditions, nature, science, literature, etc. But they built mosques everywhere. We saw Barbie dolls with hijab. We read the story of Pinocchio going to a mosque. They distort everything that belongs to everyone. Those boys who were living in dormitoriums, today they are grown up and they run the country. Nepotism, mafia, blackmailing, violence, and imprisonment became a daily routine. No more freedom of speech, no more freedom of expression, no more justice. And today I know that all these things have nothing to do with Islam. Erdogan and their power succeeded to manipulate people by using the name of a religion. They always pointed something in the air, and each time everybody looked at the sky, and each time we didn’t want to believe that they were actually stealing our roof.

Today nobody belongs to that country except Erdogan. Sorry, at least that is how I watch the situation from abroad. Like many who left the country with anger, I promised to myself that there is no way to go back. It has been fourteen years now that I live “abroad.” I don’t mix anymore the manipulative fake religious ideologies with the true respect and love that one can have for their religions. What happened in Turkey is happening everywhere: smaller or bigger, lighter or heavier, larger or tighter versions. And not only with religions. It happens within everything that shows rejection and violence to someone because of their unique being. I have been made to feel maybe all my life as if I don’t belong to somewhere or to something. But it is not true. I don’t need someone specific or a specific authority to recognize me to have the feeling of belonging. I belong to the earth, to our real home.

 

Because I know that I belong here, you belong here, we belong here

Somewhere

 

in between,

in motion,

else-.

 

 

[i] Carolin Emcke, When I Say Yes (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press 2020), 39/40.

Only Yesterday

0 (Hanged Man & The Whistles), 2018

Only yesterday,

Before I fall for this dream,

To forget everything about you,

I slapped my face.

You have been gone

You had to be gone.

I slapped myself,

“Wake up!”

“Wake up!”

Then seeing you in this dream

Right next to me

I want you

“Wake up!”

“Wake up!”

My dear,

How are you?

How is life over there?

I saw you in my dream, in my nightmare last

night. Everything was black and white.

And we were grey.

Imagine no color.

I was in a pulpit in front of people.

Thousands of people.

They were screaming and waiting for me.

I had to make a speech to them and you

were right next to me.

We couldn’t talk with words.

I was shaking, and you were doing your best

to not show your panic.

People behind us were holding guns to our backs.

Someone from behind whispered.

They said, “Start to speak.”

I didn’t know who those people were.

I didn’t know who I was, what was

my purpose to be there.

What was my name? What should I tell

those thousands of people?

And the most important. Why were there

guns behind us?

What did we do wrong?

I didn’t know anything.

Someone from behind whispered again.

But the tone of their voice became harsher.

“Speak now.”

The gun touched my jacket, pointed deeper

in my back.

“Speak now.”

I looked in your eyes. And I understood that

that was my last time seeing you.

It was my goodbye speech to you.

People were screaming. I couldn’t hear

anything clearly.

Do they hate me or love me?

I always believe in the power of language.

I always believe language is magic. If I put the

right words one after another, maybe we

can finish this terror alive. Maybe that is the

reason why people let the condemned say

their last words before the assassination.

Maybe the one who is going to be killed has

the last chance to convince.

I felt the gun in my back, prodding and

tormenting me.

While the voice behind me said, “Speak now,”

this time their other hand pushed me one

step further.

Read Out Loud

ABANDONED

ABDUCTIVE

ABOVE

ABROAD

ABSENCE

ABSTRACT

ABUSE

ACCEPTANCE

ACCOMPLISH

ACKNOWLEDGED

ACTIVIST

ADAPT

ADMIRED

ADORABLE

ADRENALINE

ADULTS

AESTHETIC

AFFECTION

AFRAID

AGAINST

AGGRESSION

AGREE

ALGORITHMS

ALIVE

ALLEGORICAL

ALLIANCE

ALWAYS

AMAZING

AMBITIOUS

AMOUNT

ANALYZED

ANARCHIC

ANGEL

ANGER

ANNOYED

ANSWERS

ANTHEM

ANTI-GAY

ANTI-RACIST

ANTITRANSPHOBIC

ANTIDOTE

ANYONE

ANYTHING

APOLOGY

APORIA

APPEARANCE

APPLICABLE

APPROACH

ARCHETYPE

ARGUMENT

ARMY

ARRIVED

ARROGANT

ART

ARTICLE

ARTIVISTS

ASHAMED

ASLEEP

ASSASSINATION

ASSERTIVE

ASSHOLE

ASSIMILATE

ASSOCIATE

ASSURE

ATELIER

ATHEIST

ATMOSPHERE

ATTACK

ATTEMPT

ATTENTION

ATTITUDE

ATTRACTIVE

AUTHORITY

AUTOMATIC

AVAILABLE

AWARENESS

AWAY

AWKWARD

BACKGROUND

BACKWARDS

BAD

BANKS

BARBIE

BASTA

BAZAARS

BEACH

BEARD

BEAUTIFUL

BED

BEHAVIOR

BEHIND

BELIEF

BELONG

BEST

BETTER

BETWEEN

BEYOND

BIG

BIGGER

BIGGEST

BILL

BILLIONS

BINARY

BIOLOGICAL

BIPOLAR

BIRTHDAY

BLAME

BLIND

BLOW

BLUNT

BLURRING

BODY

BOGGLED

BOMB

BOOKS

BORDER

BORN

BOXES

BRAIN

BREATH

BRIDGE

BRIGHT

BRUTAL

BUBBLE

BUDGETS

BURDEN

BUREAUCRATIC

BUSINESS

CALCULATE

CAMPAIGN

CAPACITY

CAPITALISM

CAR

CAREFULLY

CASUAL

CATASTROPHES

CATEGORIZED

CELEBRATION

CENSORSHIP

CENTRAL

CHAINS

CHAIR

CHANCE

CHANGE

CHAOS

CHARACTERISTIC

CHEWING GUM

CHIEF

CHILD

CHILDHOOD

CHOICE

CIRCLES

CIRCULATION

CIS

CITIES

CITIZEN

CLIMATE

CLOTHES

COEXISTENCE

COLONIAL

COLOR

COMMERCIAL

COMPETITION

COMPLAIN

COMPLEX

CONCEPTS

CONCERNS

CONDITIONS

CONDOM

CONNECTION

CONSERVATISM

CONSIDERATION

CONSPIRACY

CONSTELLATIONS

CONSTITUTION

CONSTRUCT

CONSUMERISM

CONTAINS

CONTEMPORARY

CONTINENTS

CONTINUE

CONTRACT

CONTRIBUTE

CONTROL

CONVERSATIONS

CORNER

COSMETIC

COUPLE

COURAGE

CRAZY

CREATIVITY

CRIMINALIZATION

CRITIC

CRUEL

CRY

CULTURE

CURIOSITY

CUSTOM

CUTE

DAILY

DANCE

DANGEROUS

DARKNESS

DEAL

DEATH

DEBATES

DECEPTION

DECISION

DECLARATION

DECORATION

DEEPER

DEFEND

DEFINITION

DELICIOUS

DELIVER

DEMOCRACY

DENIZENS

DEPENDENCIES

DEPENDENT

DEPRESSION

DESCENDANT

DESCRIBE

DESIGN

DESTINATION

DESTROY

DETERMINISM

DEVELOPMENT

DICTATOR

DIE

DIFFICULT

DILEMMA

DIPLOMACY

DIRECTION

DIRTY

DISAGREE

DISAPPEAR

DISCOVER

DISCRIMINATION

DISCUSSION

DISEASE

DISGUSTING

DISLIKED

DISORDER

DISRESPECTFUL

DISTANCE

DISTINGUISHES

DISTORT

DISTRACTION

DISTRESSED

DISTRIBUTION

DISTURBING

DIVE

DIVERSE

DIVIDED

DIVORCE

DOG

DOLLS

DOMESTIC

DOMINATE

DRASTICALLY

DREAM

DRUNK

DUALITY

DUTY

EARTH

EASY

ECHO

ECONOMY

EDUCATION

EFFECT

EFFORT

EGO

ELECTION

EMBODY

EMBRACE

EMOTIONS

EMPATHY

EMPIRE

EMPTY

ENDLESS

ENERGY

ENJOY

ENLARGE

ENTITY

ENVIRONMENT

ENVISIONING

EQUALITY

ESCAPES

ESCARGOT

ESOTERIC

ETERNAL

EVERYBODY

EVERYDAY

EVERYTHING

EVERYWHERE

EVIDENCE

EVOCATION

EXCHANGE

EXCLUSION

EXHIBITION

EXIST

EXPECTATION

EXPERIENCE

EXPERTS

EXPIRE

EXPLAIN

EXPLODE

EXPOSE

EXPRESSION

EXTERNAL

EXTRA

EYES

FACE

FAILURE

FAKE

FAMILIAR

FAMILY

FAMOUS

FANTASY

FAULT

FAVORITE

FEAR

FEEL

FEMINISM

FIGHT

FIGURES

FINAL

FINGER

FIRE

FLOOR

FOCUS

FOOL

FORCE

FORGET

FORGIVE

FREEDOM

FRIEND

FRUSTRATION

FUCK

FUN

FUNCTIONAL

FUNDAMENTAL

FUNNY

FUSION

FUTURE

GAME

GAP

GARBAGE

GARLIC

GAY

GENDER

GENDERLESS

GENEROUS

GENIUS

GENOCIDE

GENTLE

GEOGRAPHY

GESTURES

GHETTOIZE

GHOST

GLAMOUR

GLOBAL

GOALS

GOOD-HEARTED

GOOD LUCK

GOODBYE

GOOSEBUMPS

GOVERNMENT

GRADUATION

GROUND

GROWTH

GRÜEZI

GUIDE

GUILTY

GUNS

GUY

HABITS

HAIR

HAND

HAPPY

HARMONY

HATE-ORIENTED

HEAD

HEALTHCARE

HEART

HEARTBREAKS

HEAVINESS

HELP

HERO

HEROISM

HETERONORMATIVE

HETEROSEXUAL

HIERARCHY

HISTORICAL

HOLIDAY

HOME

HOMOSEXUALITY

HOPE

HORIZONTAL

HOSTILITY

HUMANITARIANISM

HUMANITY

HUMID

HUMILIATION

HUMORLESS

HUNGER

HURTFUL

HYPERACTIVE

HYPOCRISY

IDEA

IDEOLOGIES

IGNORANCE

ILLEGAL

ILLUSIONS

IMAGE

IMAGINATION

IMMEDIATELY

IMPORTANCE

IMPOSED

IMPROVE

IMPULSIVE

INAPPROPRIATE

INCLUSIVE

INDEPENDENT

INDESCRIBABLE

INDIVIDUALISM

INEQUALITY

INFERIOR

INFLUENCES

INFORMATION

INJUSTICE

INSENSITIVE

INSIDE

INSPIRATION

INSTITUTIONAL

INSUFFICIENT

INSULTING

INTELLECTUAL

INTENTION

INTERACT

INTEREST

INTERNAL

INTERNATIONAL

INTERPRETATIONS

INTERVENE

INTRIGUES

INTRODUCTION

INTUITION

INVENT

INVESTMENT

INVISIBLE

INVITE

INVOLUNTARILY

INVOLVED

ISLAND

ISSUES

JOB

JOKING

JOURNALIST

JOURNEY

JUDGMENT

JUICE

JUSTICE

JUSTIFY

KINSHIP

KITCHEN

KNOWLEDGE

KNOWN-UNKNOWN

KOPFKINO

LANDSCAPES

LANGUAGE

LAST

LAUGHING

LAW

LEADERSHIP

LEARN

LEGALIZE

LEGITIMIZED

LESSONS

LEVANTINE

LGBTIQ+

LIARS

LIBERALISM

LIBERTY

LIE

LIFE

LIGHT

LIMITS

LITERATURE

LIVABLE

LIVES

LOBBIES

LOCAL

LOGIC

LONELY

LONG-DISTANCE

LONG-STANDING

LOVE

LUCKY

MACHINE

MACHO

MAFIA

MAGIC

MAJORITY

MALPRACTICE

MANDATORY

MANIACS

MANIFESTO

MANIPULATION

MARKETING

MARRIAGE

MASS

MASTICATING

MASTURBATION

MATERIAL

MAYBE

MECHANISM

MELTING

MEMORY

MENTAL

MENTION

METAPHOR

MILITARY

MIMICKING

MINDSET

MINORITIES

MIRROR

MISERY

MISINTERPRETED

MISSING

MISSIONARY

MISTAKE

MIX

MOCKING

MODE

MODELS

MODERATE

MODIFIED

MOMENT

MONEY

MONKEY

MONOCHROME

MONSTERS

MOUNTAINS

MOUTH

MOVIE

MURDERERS

MUSICAL

MYTHOLOGIES

NAILS

NAIVE

NAKED

NARCISSISM

NATIONALS

NATIONS

NATIVE

NATURAL

NATURE

NECESSARY

NECK

NECKLACE

NEED

NEGLECTED

NEIGHBORHOOD

NEOLIBERAL

NEPOTISM

NEUTRAL

NEVER

NEWSPAPERS

NIGHT

NIGHTMARE

NO

NO ONE

NOBODY

NON-BINARY

NON-DOMINANTS

NON-VIOLENCE

NORMAL

NORMS

NOT

NOTHING

NOTION

NOW

OBEDIENCE

OBJECTIFICATION

OBNOXIOUS

OBSERVER

OBSESSED

OBSTACLES

OBVIOUS

OFF

OFFENDED

OFFICE

OLD

ONE-SIDED

ONGOING

ONLINE

OPEN

OPEN-MINDED

OPERAS

OPINION

OPPORTUNITY

OPPOSITION

OPPRESSED

OPTIONS

ORDINARY

ORGAN

ORGANIC

ORGANIZATION

ORIENTAL

ORIENTATION

ORIGIN

OTHER

OTHERWISE

OURSELVES

OUTSIDE

OVER

OVERLOADED

OWING

OWNER

PAGE

PAID

PAIN

PAINLESS

PANIC

PANORAMA

PAPER

PARALLEL

PARENT

PARTICIPATE

PARTNER

PARTY

PASSION

PASSIVE

PAST

PATH

PATRIARCHAL

PATTERNS

PAY

PEACEFUL

PENIS

PEOPLE

PERCEPTION

PERFORMANCE

PERIOD

PERMANENTLY

PERSECUTING

PERSONAL

PERSPECTIVE

PERVERT

PETROL

PHASE

PHYSICAL

PICNIC

PIGEONHOLES

PINKWASHING

PINOCCHIO

PLANET

PLATFORM

PLAY

PLAYFUL

PLAYGROUND

PLEASURE

PLOT

POETIC

POLARIZATION

POLITICAL

POLYAMOROUS

POOR

POPULIST

POSITION

POSITIVE

POSSIBLE

POST-COLONIAL

POST-MODERN

POST-TRUTH

POSTER

POSTURE

POTENTIAL

POWERFUL

POWERLESSNESS

PRACTICE

PRAYER

PRECONDITIONED

PREFER

PREJUDGMENTS

PREPARATION

PRESELECTED

PRESIDENT

PRESSURE

PRESUME

PRETEND

PREVENT

PRIDE

PRIORITIZE

PRISONERS

PRIVATE

PRIVILEGE

PRIZE

PROBLEM

PROCESS

PROCLAIM

PRODUCTION

PROFIT

PROGRESSIVENESS

PROGRESSIVIST

PROJECT

PROJECT-CHILD

PROJECTORS

PROMISE

PROMOTE

PROPAGANDA

PROTAGONISTS

PROTECTION

PROUD

PROVE

PROVIDES

PROVOCATIVE

PSYCHIATRIC

PSYCHOLOGICAL

PSYCHOSOMATIC

PSYCHOTHERAPY

PUBLIC

PUKING

PULL

PULPIT

PUNCH

PURE

PURPOSE

PUSH

PUTSCH

QUALIFICATIONS

QUEERDOM

QUESTIONING

QUITE

RACISM

RADICALIZATION

RAGE

RAIDS

RAINBOWS

RAISE

RAW

REACH

REACT

READ

REALITY

REALIZE

REASON

RECALL

RECEPTION

RECIPROCALLY

RECOGNITION

RECONCILIATION

RECTIFYING

REFLECTION

REFUSE

REGIMES

REGRETTED

REGULARLY

REINFORCE

REJECTION

RELATED

RELATIONSHIP

RELEASING

RELIABLE

RELIGION

REMAIN

REMEMBER

REMINISCENT

REPEAT

REPEL

REPETITIVE

REPLICAS

REPORT

REPRESENTATION

REPUGNANCE

REPUTATION

RESCUE

RESEARCH

RESENTMENT

RESOURCES

RESPECTFUL

RESPONSIBLE

REST

RESTRICTION

RESULT

REUNIFICATION

REVENGE

REVOLUTIONARY

REWRITE

RHETORIC

RICHNESS

RIGHT

RIGID

RISE

ROCK-JUICERS

ROLE MODEL

ROLLER-COASTER

ROMANTICISM

ROOF

ROOM

ROOTS

ROUTE

ROUTINE

RUINED

RULE

RULER

RUN

SADNESS

SAFE

SAILING

SAME

SANS-PAPIER

SATISFACTION

SAUCE

SAVING

SAY

SCANDAL

SCARED

SCARS

SCENARIOS

SCHOOL

SCIENCE

SCISSORS

SCREAMING

SCRIPTS

SCULPT

SCULPTURE

SEARCH

SECULARISM

SECURE

SEE

SEGREGATIONS

SELF-THERAPY

SEMI-FANTASIZED

SEMI-VULNERABLE

SENSATION

SENSITIVE

SENTENCE

SEPARATION

SERIOUSNESS

SESSION

SEXISM

SHAKING

SHAPE

SHARE

SHARPENED

SHIFTED

SHIPPINGS

SHIT

SHOCKED

SHOOT

SHOWING

SHUT

SICK

SIDE

SIGN

SIGNATURE

SILENCE

SIMILAR

SIMPLE

SIMULACRUM

SIMULTANEOUSLY

SINCERELY

SINGLE

SINGULAR

SIRIUS A

SIRIUS B

SITTING

SITUATION

SIZE

SKIN

SKY

SLAPSTICK

SLOW-MOTION

SMALL

SMART

SMASH

SMILE

SMOOTHLY

SOCIAL

SOCIETY

SOCIOLOGIST

SOLD

SOLDIERS

SOLIDARITY

SOLUTION

SOMEBODY

SOMEHOW

SOMEONE

SOMETHING

SOMETIMES

SOMEWHERE

SOON

SOPHISTICATED

SORRY

SOUNDED

SOURCE

SPACE

SPEAK

SPECIAL

SPECIFIC

SPECTRUM

SPEED

SPIRIT

SPONSORED

SQUEEZED

STAGE

STAND

STANDARDS

STANDPOINT

STARS

STARVING

STATION

STAY

STEALING

STEREOTYPICAL

STILL

STIMULATES

STOP

STORES

STORYTELLER

STRATEGY

STREET

STRIKING

STRONG

STRUCTURE

STRUGGLE

STUPEFACTION

STUPIDITY

STYLE

SUBJECT

SUBJUGATED

SUBTLY

SUBVERSIVE

SUCCESS

SUDDENLY

SUFFER

SUICIDAL

SUMMER

SUN

SUNDAY

SUPER

SUPERIOR

SUPERMARKET

SUPPORT

SUPREMACY

SUPREME

SURFACE

SURPRISED

SURROUNDINGS

SURVIVAL

SWEET

SYMBOL

SYSTEM

SYSTEMATIC

TABLE

TACTICS

TAGGED

TAKE

TALK

TANKS

TARGETING

TAUGHT

TEACHER

TEAM

TEARS

TECHNIQUES

TECHNOLOGY

TEENAGERHOOD

TELEVISION

TEMPORARILY

TENDENCY

TERMINOLOGY

TERRITORY

TERROR

TEXT

THEATER

THEME

THEMSELF

THEORIES

THING

THINKER

THOUGHTS

THREATEN

THRESHOLD

THROUGH

THROW

TIGHTER

TIME

TIRED

TITLE

TOGETHERNESS

TOILET

TOLERANCE

TOMORROW

TONE

TONGUE

TOPLESS

TORCH

TORMENTING

TOTAL

TOUCH

TOWARD

TOWN

TOXIC

TRACES

TRADITION

TRAMPLES

TRANS

TRANSFORMED

TRANSGENDER

TRANSITIONING

TRANSPARENT

TRAUMAS

TRAVEL

TRENDS

TROUBLE

TRULY

TRUSTFUL

TRUTH

TYPICAL

TYRANNIZED

UBUNTU

UNABLE

UNBEARABLE

UNBELIEVABLE

UNCHOSEN

UNCONSCIOUSLY

UNDENIABLE

UNDERLINE

UNDERNEATH

UNDERSTOOD

UNFORTUNATELY

UNICORNS

UNINFORMED

UNIQUE

UNITED

UNIVERSAL

UNKNOWN-UNKNOWN

UNPROTECTED

UNQUESTIONED

UNSPOKEN

UPCOMING

UPDATE

URGE

UTOPIAN

VALUE

VERBALIZED

VICTIM

VIEW

VIOLENCE

VISIBILITY

VISION

VISITORS

VITAL

VITRINE

VOCABULARIES

VOICE

VOLUNTEER

VOYAGE

VULNERABLE

VULTURE

WAIT

WALL

WAR

WASTE

WATCHING

WAVES

WEAR

WELCOME

WHISPERING

WISE

WISH

WON

WONDERFUL

WORD

WORK

WORLD

WRITER

WRONG

YEARS

YELLING

YESTERDAY

YOUTH

ZONE

This texts are published in the book Texts on Post-Truth Violence Anger on the occasion of the exhibition Dorian Sari. Post-Truth. Manor Art Prize 2021 im Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart, Switzerland, 13.2.– 24.5.2021.

Read the entire book Texts on Post-Truth_Violence_Anger and order it online here.

*1989 in Izmir, lives in Basel

Dorian Sari is an artist and researcher. He is an observer of politics, emotions and social movements. His work mainly focuses on looking at human beings and cultures in his installations, and projecting these, together with personal and collective mythology, into completely fictional, theatrical and cinematographical scenes based on Jungian psychoanalytic interpretation of humans and their symbols. He creates a universe using numerous narrations, usually in the form of a sculpture or sometimes as a video projection. Sublimating actuality with materials found in the street. Discharging his observations into these materials involves ceremonial rituals in the production process. Sometimes it is just a quiet sewing, sometimes it takes the form of a silent confession in his video works. Sculptures tell a story using the language of poetic symbols. The parallel to this communication between the conscious and the collective subconscious. He combines rational scientific research with metaphysical methods. Pointing at current affairs and taking a measure using his multidisciplinary background and artistic vision are the main points of his work.

Basel Berlin Fellowship

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