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Kopuntu Presents “Confusion” • Solidarity, not Solitude!

Between 2-5 December 2017, we are inviting you to join set of events under the umbrella title “Confusion”, will take place in Macao, Milano, Italy.

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Solidarity, not Solitude!

Until now besides its interdisciplinary events that took place in Italy, Germany and Sweden, including talks, exhibitions, screenings and live performances, it has published a quantity of different genre of writing including academic articles, articles, journalism pieces, critiques, essays and literary pieces in its online platform kopuntu.org. This digital platform, together with the interdisciplinary events, aims at creating an inventory of conceptualization of the experiences that are encountered in these mentioned digital and physical spaces and thus keeping alive the memories.

We are all going through a period in which we lose our grounds, continents, venues, and domains one by one, both literally and metaphorically and the only off-ramp for our memories, souls, need for conversation and coexistence are to construe and construct meanings in already existing venues that are available to us. This is neither an easy path nor completely voluntary for us, however as acrid as it is, it is also exciting. Macao, in that sense, occupies a crucial and unique place. It is, for us, one of the places to be, in our greater aim to further explain ourselves and to create productive and novel encounters. Nevertheless, Macao does not let us only use a space that it owns together with offering us numerous potential encounters to last with fruitful collaborations, but it also provides a creation and production space that aims to be inter-disciplinary as well as experimental. It must be noted that this experimental aspect of our interdisciplinary entity refers to a social experiment, which employs a counter-understanding to the mainstream narrative of diaspora that continues investigating further means to conceive an alternative definition.

In this manner, we are excited to present you our Macao Milano contribution to this collaboration: Confusion. The word kopuntu has two different meanings in the Turkish dictionary: the first diaspora, and the second, a torn piece. The concept of our event stems from the exact gap between these two lexical meanings of the word Kopuntu. This gap, while defining the two different phenomena, also designates the unbreakable bond between and mutuality of these two concepts. This gap is exactly what creates the Confusion: the bemusement between “a torn piece,” signifying an active search for a physical and mental venue to express ourselves, and “diaspora” in which we can hardly find any of those venues. Confusion thus rests upon two other equally important trivets: Hope and Home. Imagine that we are stuck in our Homes and our Hopes, which leaves us with nothing but Confusion. On the other hand, it is possible to conceptualize these three umbrella terms of the event in an alternative way, which appeals to our foundations as Kopuntu in a more sincere way. Confusion for us is always emphasized, in every legal, political and daily venue of our lives, regardless of residency either in Turkey or abroad. We are all in a search for Home and Hope, and in this regard, Confusion refers to a both (or either) procedural and chronic situation that defines primarily a mental displacement. This mental displacement is the origins of our aporia for a rather homelessness but not rootlessness, hopefulness but not despair and lastly, being solidarity but not solitude. Therefore, we keep on saying: Solidarity, not Solitude!

Confusion, Home and Hope

The exhibition
is the first part of our event. Curated by Milen Nae, this exhibition welcomes 18 artists from Turkey, regardless of their residence addresses. This exhibition aims to bring together the different experiences of homelessness, groundlessness and constant displacement, while at the same time centers on this question: Is it possible to create a new sort of diaspora among those who share the same emotions and experiences but not the same space, nationality, language, race or religion? Our artists Ayşe Tuğ, Can Aksan, Cansu Gürsu, Deniz Aktaş, Elif Demirci, Eşref Yıldırım, Dele Memed, Genco Gülan, Levent Duran, Melih Sarıgöl, Oddviz, Merve İşeri, Özcan Saraç Özge Kul, Özgür Demirci, Selçuk Artut, Tuğberk Selçuk, Uğur Çakı, Uluç Ali Kılıç and Zeyno Pekünlü search for an answer in this exhibition, through the conceptual titles of Confusion, Home and Hope.

Photo Exhibition and Screenings is the third part of the events. Concurrent to the exhibition and the discussions, there will be movie-screening in the Theater starting from 2nd December until the end of 5th December in collaboration with !f Istanbul, together with the photo exhibition in which the works by four photographers will be exhibited. Our photographers are Cansu Yıldıran, Ceren Saner, Ulaş Y. Tosun and Uygar Önder Şimşek.

Conscientious Objection, State Restrictions on Freedom of Speech, New Diaspora

Panels constitute the second fragment of this event. Organized by Zeynep Koçak, the two panels focus on different however related topics: Conscientious Objection of Military Service in Turkey as a Subordination Practice, and Freedom of Speech, Restrictive Measures of the State and the New Diaspora. The main theme of these panels does not only overlap with the umbrella conceptualization of our title Confusion but aims to provide a substantial answer to why and how our living, production and self-expression spaces and possibilities are restricted by the State verbally, legally, politically, physically and geographically. Conscientious objection of military service and the governmental restrictions against freedom of speech in Turkey are two of the most important exclusive measures carried out by the state with witch-hunt purposes, and subsequently two of the main reasons that the new diaspora is forming. In the first panel on Conscientious Objection against Military Service, after Anıl Çizmecoğlu’s documentary Collateral Damage of Education and Zeynep Koçak’s presentation on framework of the current legal and political situation of the topic, there will be a chance to listen to first-hand stories of Ercan Jan Aktaş and Uğur Bilkay, who left their countries for this exact reason. In the second panel on State Restrictions on Freedom of Speech and How They Create the New Diaspora, after İbrahim Karcı’s presentation that will summarize and piece together the emergence of the new diaspora, five short-films will be shown by Murat Çınar.  In the proceeding presentations, there will be an opportunity to place the pieces further of Turkish political jigsaw in regards to these restrictive measures through the presentations of Sofia Verza and Murat Çınar.

Live and DJ Performances

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2 December 2017 – Saturday

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