Turkish Daily News: An ideal multicultural Turkey can show the way

Hakan Akçura, painter, poet and video performance artist, who implemented the “Love at the Hatred Tunnel” Project, is presenting his attitude toward discrimination and racism along with the visual works he prepared

VERCİHAN ZİFLİOĞLU
ISTANBUL
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Turkish Daily News

In one echo to the shot that felled Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink last January, a Swedish-Turkish Web artist has launched a new Internet portal aimed at bringing together the distinct cultures of Anatolia: among them Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish.

“This is an exercise for justice,” said Hakan Akçura, an artist based in Sweden, who said he has struggled mightily to make his voice heard as a minority in Scandinavia, a factor that has given him a great deal of empathy with Dink, killed by a teenage gunman filled with nationalist hatred who confessed.

An earlier Web video project of Akçura’s premiered at this week’s Bodrum International Film Festival. The newest and latest, however, is “Love at the Hatred Tunnel,” a Web-based home for blogs, videos and graphics that has already attracted contributions from more than 20 creative fellow artists across all ethnic hues and geographies.

Such racism is an illness that is hard to cure in this modern century, Akçura said this week. Many people around the world lose their lives due to their nationality, religion, language, color and opinion. Just like Dink, editor in chief of the Agos newspaper.

Akçura said that he was concerned about the racist messages posted on the Internet right after the Dink assassination. The period that started with Dink’s assassination has prepared the ground for a nationalist wave to continue, he said. He noted that the “wave” continues even as wounds have not yet healed, other nationalist attacks have followed, including the killing in May of three missionaries in Malatya.

Akçura voiced concerns about conflicts between some Turks and Kurds. Which all led to his launch of the “Love at the Hatred Tunnel” project. He calls on those that love Armenians, Turks and Kurds to become involved. To join the project, it’s enough to express ones feeling in a video and send it to http://open-flux.blogspot.com. So far Akçura has received many videos.

The artist says that 20 people applied for the project but he expects an immense interest. He is about to examine the videos while he believes that his project needs more widespread support. The artist intends to present the videos to Turkish audiences in Istanbul and Diyarbakır. The reason behind choosing Diyarbakır is that the city has a large Kurdish population. After exhibiting the works in Turkey he plans to take the exhibition to other countries.

‘Mr. President let me challenge you to face his’

Akçura is an artist who doesn’t keep his views to himself. The execution of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s affected him deeply and he aroused a bit of international interest when he changed the face of the overthrown Iraqi leader lying in the morgue with that of U.S. President George W. Bush. He posted the video on Youtube. Two experimental videos titled “Mr. President let me challenge you to face his,” which show Bush in a provocative way during the execution process of Saddam made it to the most watched videos section of the “Arts and Animations” category rapidly in January. But not for long. The videos were taken off the Web site with claims that the video embraced violence. Akçura said: “It was said that my video included violence. It was virtual, yet the real execution images were displayed to billions of people on TVs everyday hundreds of times.” The artist says that he sent the video to the White House as part of his virtual campaign for justice.

After Youtube blocked his work, the artist posted the video on Google Video. He mentions that they also blocked it after a short period and his reaction is “My search for justice got stuck in virtual censor.”

Akçura’s censored video has been shown at the New York Scope Art Fair. The video, which will be shown in “Time Travelers 2007” this month in Chicago, is being screened in Turkey at the fourth International Bodrum Film Festival that started Friday and will end tomorrow.

Migration and discrimination in Sweden

Akçura, says that he experienced many problems as a migrant in Sweden. According to him the system protecting Swedish artists ignores migrant artists. He emphasizes that there is discrimination. Akçura’s video called “Open Letter to the Swedish Immigrant Office” evoked lots of comment from the artist society in Sweden and Turkey.

Cohabiting should be encouraged in Turkey

The artist is not very optimistic on the near future of Turkey. The thing that affected Akçura in the Dink assassination is that the police had their photos taken with Dink’s murderer. Akçura highlights the necessity of spreading the concept of living together in Turkey with the support of art. Akçura expects that everyone, who don’t have any concerns about the identity of people, should lend a helping hand to his project. He is happy to publish the call of “Love in the Hatred Tunnel.”

The arguments on identity doesn’t mean anything to Akçura and he awaits people with open arms who attach more importance to love than to identity.

Mr. President let me challenge you to face his (1-2):

Mr. President let me challenge you to face his 1-2 from hakan akcura on Vimeo.


Vercihan Ziflioğlu, bu haberin Referans gazetesinde de yayınlanmasını sağlamış:

Ayrı dünyaları birleştiren aşklar ırkçılığa karşı

VERCİHAN ZİFLİOĞLU
20.06.2007
Referans Gazetesi


Yükselen ırkçılığa karşı harekete geçme ihtiyacı hisseden sanatçı Hakan Akçura, ‘Nefret Tünelinde Aşk’ adlı proje ile Ermeni-Türk-Kürt âşıklarını dünyaya anlatacak.

Irkçılık, modern çağın tedavisi imkânsız hastalıklarının başını çekiyor… Bu yüzden dünya genelinde pek çok kişi milliyeti, dini, dili, rengi ve fikri yüzünden hayatını yitiriyor.

Agos Gazetesi Genel Yayın Yönetmeni Hrant Dink’in öldürülmesi de bu çaresiz hastalığın tipik bir örneği. Dink’in öldürülmesi süreciyle başlayan dönem ise beraberinde milliyetçi dalganın yükselmesine zemin hazırladı. Dink suikastında olduğu üzere, yaşanan acı gelişmeler geçmişten bugüne duyarlığın sınırlarında yaşayan sanatçıları etkiledi en çok.

Türkiye’den İsveç’e göç eden neo fluxus akımı sanatçılarından Hakan Akçura, Hrant Dink suikastinin hemen ardından internet üzerinde yaşanan ırkçı mesajlardan dolayı kaygılandığını dile getiriyor. Akçura’yı etkileyen bir diğer sorun ise Türk-Kürt çatışmaları. İşte bu noktadan hareketle sanatçı, “Nefret Tünelinde Aşk” projesini hayata geçirmeye karar verdi. Akçura, Ermeni-Türk-Kürt âşıkları bu projeye dahil olmaya çağırıyor. Projeye katılmak için çiftlerin birbirlerine olan aşklarını anlattıkları videoları yollamaları yeterli. Videoların http://open-flux.blogspot.com adresine yollanması gerekiyor. Bugüne değin Akçura’ya onlarca video ulaşmış. [Oysa, ulaşan onlarca video ne yazık ki henüz yok. H.A.] Sanatçı, projeye yoğun ilgi olduğunu söylüyor.

Bir adalet eylemi

Akçura, yaşanan gelişmelere karşı sesini yükselten bir sanatçı. Saddam Hüseyin’in idam süreci onu öylesine etkilemiş olacak ki, video hazırlayıp morgda yatan Irak devrik liderinin yüzünü George W. Bush ile değiştirdi. Akçura bununla da yetinmeyip videoyu YouTube’a koydu. “Mr. President let me challenge you to face his” başlığını taşıyan ve kışkırtıcı bir biçimde Saddam Hüseyin’in idam sürecine Bush’u dahil eden iki deneysel video geçen ocak ayında birkaç gün içerisinde “Arts and Animations” kategorisinde en çok izlenenler arasına girdi. Fakat kısa bir süre içerisinde şiddet içerikli olduğu gerekçesiyle yayından kaldırıldı. Akçura, “videomun şiddet içerdiği söyleniyordu, benim videom sanaldı, oysa gerçek infaz görüntüleri her gün yüzlerce kez televizyonlardan milyarlarca insana teşhir ediliyordu…” diyor. Sanatçı hazırladığı videoyu Beyaz Saray’a da yolladığını söylüyor ve ekliyor: Bu, bir tür adalet eylemiydi.

YouTube’un uyguladığı sansürün ardından videoyu “google.video”ya yerleştiren sanatçı orada da kısa bir süre içerisinde yayından kaldırıldığına değiniyor ve tepkisini şu sözlerle dile getiriyor: “Adalet arayışım, sanal sansüre takıldı.” Hakan Akçura’nın sansürlü videosu New York Scope Sanat Fuarı’nda sergilendi. Bu ay Chicago’da “Time Travelers 2007 kapsamında gösterilecek olan video, 4. Uluslararası Bodrum Film Festivali kapsamında ise Türkiye’de izleyici ile buluştu.

Göçmenlik ve ayrımcılık

İsveç’te göçmen olarak pek çok sorunla karşılaştığını söyleyen Akçura, İsveçli sanatçıları kollayan sistemin göçmen sanatçıları dışladığını savunuyor. Bu durumu ise “Ayrımcılık yapılıyor” sözleriyle özetliyor. Akçura, “İsveç Göçmen Bürosu’na Açık Mektup” isimli video performansı ile son yıllarda İsveç ve Türkiye’deki sanat ortamlarında adından sıkça söz ettiriyor.

Sanatçı, Türkiye’nin yakın geleceği konusunda pek de iyimser değil.

Akçura, sanatın da desteğiyle Türkiye’de bir arada yaşama bilincinin yaygınlaştırılması gerekliliğinin altını çiziyor. Akçura, “Herkesin ırkçılığa karşı elini taşın altına sokması gereken bu günlerde, ‘Nefret Tünelinde Aşk’ın çağrısını yayımlamaktan dolayı mutlu olduğunu” söylüyor. Sanatçı, topladığı videoları İstanbul ve Diyarbakır’da Türk izleyicisinin dikkatine sunmayı tasarlıyor. Akçura, daha sonra da yurtdışında açacağı sergi için kimliklerini bir kenara bırakıp sevgileri ile gelecek insanlara kucak açıyor. [Oysa olası sergiyi yurtdışına taşımaya henüz hiç niyetim yok. H.A.]

Française:
Une Turquie idéale multiculturelle peut montrer la voie

Hakan Akçura, peintre, poète et artiste vidéo, qui a mis en oeuvre le Projet “L’Amour au Tunnel de la Haine”, nous présente sa position vis-à-vis de la discrimination et du racisme, ainsi que les oeuvres visuelles qu’il a préparées.

VERCİHAN ZİFLİOĞLU

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

L’une des réactions au tir qui a atteint mortellement le journaliste arméno-turc Hrant Dink, en janvier dernier, émane d’un artiste suédois-turc qui a lancé un nouveau portail Internet visant à réunir les diverses cultures de l’Anatolie parmi lesquelles : les cultures arménienne, turque et kurde.

“C’est un exercice pour la justice”, a dit Hakan Akçura, un artiste vivant en Suède, qui dit avoir lutté vigoureusement pour faire entendre sa voix, celle d’une minorité en Scandinavie, un facteur qui lui a donné une grande dose d’empathie avec Dink, tué par un adolescent empli de haine nationaliste avouée.

La première d’un projet vidéo Internet plus ancien d’Akçura a eu lieu cette semaine au Festival International du Film de Bodrum. Le tout dernier en date, cependant, est “L’Amour au Tunnel de la Haine”, un site web pour blogs, vidéos et graphismes qui a déjà attiré des contributions de plus de 20 artistes créatifs, d’origines ethniques différentes et provenant de diverses régions géographiques.

Un tel racisme est une maladie qu’il est difficile de guérir en ce siècle moderne, a dit Açura cette semaine. De nombreuses personnes dans le monde perdent la vie en raison de leur nationalité, religion, langue, couleur ou opinion. Tout comme Dink, l’éditeur en chef du journal Agos.

Akçura a dit qu’il était inquiet de ces messages racistes diffusés sur Internet juste après l’assassinat de Dink. La période qui a commencé avec le meurtre de Dink a préparé le terrain à une vague nationaliste qui va continuer, dit-il. Il a remarqué que la “vague” continue, alors même que les blessures ne sont pas encore refermées, car d’autres attaques nationalistes ont suivi, y compris le massacre en mai des trois missionnaires à Malatya.

Akçura fait part de ces soucis sur les conflits entre certains Turcs et Kurdes. Tout ceci l’a mené au lancement du projet “L’Amour au Tunnel de la Haine”. Il appelle ceux qui aiment les Arméniens, les Turcs et les Kurdes à s’impliquer. Pour se joindre au projet, il suffit d’exprimer ses sentiments dans une vidéo et de l’envoyer à http://open-flux.blogspot.com. À ce jour, Akçura a reçu plusieurs vidéos.

L’artiste dit que 20 personnes se sont jointes au projet, mais il s’attend à un immense intérêt. Il est en train d’examiner les vidéos, tout en pensant que ce projet a besoin d’un plus grand soutien. L’artiste a l’intention de présenter les vidéos au public turc d’Istanbul et de Diyarbakır. La raison du choix de Diyarbakır est que cette ville possède une grande population kurde. Après avoir exposé le projet en Turquie, il prévoit des expositions dans d’autres pays.

‘M. Le Président je vous mets au défi de vous confronter à lui’
Akçura est un artiste qui ne garde pas ses opinions pour lui. L’exécution du dictateur irakien démis, Saddam Hussein, l’a profondément affecté et il a soulevé un peu d’intérêt international, lorsqu’il a mis le visage du Président américain George W. Bush à la place de celui du leader irakien gisant à la morgue. Il a posté la vidéo sur Youtube. Deux vidéos expérimentales intitulées “Mr. President let me challenge you to face his,” montrent Bush dans une attitude provocatrice, lors de l’exécution de Saddam: elles ont été les plus regardées de la section “Arts et Animations” en janvier. Mais pas pour longtemps. Les vidéos ont été enlevées du site au prétexte qu’elles avaient un contenu violent. Akçura dit: “On a dit que mes vidéos étaient violentes. C’était virtuel, et pourtant les images réelles de l’exécution ont été diffusées devant des millions de téléspectateurs chaque jour, des centaines de fois.” L’artiste dit qu’il a envoyé la vidéo à la Maison Blanche, ce qui fait partie de sa campagne virtuelle pour la justice.

Après que Youtube a bloqué son travail, l’artiste a posté la vidéo sur Google Video. Il mentionne que la vidéo a également été bloquée peu de temps après et sa réaction est la suivante : “Ma quête de justice a été bloquée par une censure virtuelle.”

La vidéo censurée d’Akçura a été diffusée à la New York Scope Art Fair. La vidéo sera présentée dans “Time Travelers 2007” ce mois-ci à Chicago, et elle est diffusée en Turquie au 4e Festival International du Film de Bodrum, qui a débuté vendredi et qui se terminera demain.

Migration et discrimination en Suède
Akçura, dit qu’il a eu de nombreux problèmes en tant qu’immigré en Suède. Selon lui, le système suédois protégeant les artistes ignore les artistes immigrés. Il met l’accent sur cette discrimination. La vidéo d’Akçura intitulée “Lettre ouverte au Bureau suédois de l’Immigration” évoque de nombreux commentaires de la société artistique en Suède et en Turquie.

La cohabitation devrait être encouragée en Turquie
L’artiste n’est pas très optimiste quant au futur proche de la Turquie. Ce qui affecte Akçura dans l’assassinat de Dink, c’est que des policiers se sont fait prendre en photo avec le meurtrier de Dink. Akçura insiste sur la nécessité de répandre le concept de vivre ensemble en Turquie, avec le soutien de l’art. Akçura s’attend à ce que tout le monde, ceux qui n’ont pas d’inquiétude sur l’identité d’un peuple, l’aide dans son projet. Il est heureux de publier l’appel “L’Amour au Tunnel de la Haine”.

Argumenter sur l’identité ne signifie pas grand chose pour Akçura, et il attend les gens qui s’attachent plus à l’amour qu’à l’identité, à bras ouverts.

©Traduction C.Gardon pour le Collectif VAN 20 juin 2007

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About omosis

Selected exhibitions, activities: 2013 Artist presentation: "Being in Sweden, being an immigrant, being an artist", Adaevi, Museum of the Princes' Islands, İstanbul, Turkey "Yersiz: Kader Birliği", Mardin, Kızıltepe, Turkey “Ja jag vill leva jag vill dö”, Tegen 2, Stockholm "Vilken tur! Himlen omfamnar oss!" / "What luck! The sky embraces us!" / "Ne şans! Gökyüzü hepimizi sarıyor!" Photography Exhibition, Ideas and Innovation Fair, Stockholm "Milat" Exhibition for Hrant, Getronagan Lisesi'nden Yetişenler Derneği, Harbiye / Rumeli Han C blok 6.Kat - Beyoğlu, İstanbul 2012 Migration Connections Project 2012 Exhibition, Museum of the Princes' Islands, İstanbul, Turkey Edinburgh Middle Eastern Film Festival, Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Artist Talking and Screening, Agent Ria, Still Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK 2011 Ars retorica, Hall the university library of Paris 8 – Saint Denis, France The Exhibition on the 20th Anniversary of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey: Where Fire Has Struck, DEPO Istanbul, Turkey 2010 PAI 2010-2011 in Thebes, Conference Center of Thebes, Greece International Media Arts Festival Videfesta’10: Archive Fever, Goethe Institute, Ankara, Turkey Temps D'Images Portugal 2010 Festival Film Award for Films on Art section "From childhood to police station" Exhibition, Free Expantion Platform, Istanbul, Turkey HEP Iran screening, Sazmanab Project, Tehran, Iran AthensArt 2010 contemporary art exhibition, Athens, Greece PAI 2010 contemporary art exhibition, Samothrace, Greece "Thistles of Sazak" screening and exhibition, 7th Karaburun Festival, Izmir, Turkey Distance Festival, London, UK "Artist Cinema", Art Beijing, China Over trubled water, Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden Ankara International Film Festival, "Video: Spaces of Memory", Ankara, Turkey Direct Channell, Canakkale' Turkey !F Istanbul Film Festival 2010 online program: See it yourself (This village)' Istanbul, Turkey HEP Screening, AFA Beijing, China Tornavideo, Tamirhane, Ankara, Turkey 2009 “Projected Visions: 35 years of Turkish video art” exhibition Meeting Europe - Istanbul, Wacken Exhibition Centre, Strasbourg, France HEP (Human Emotion Project) Screening, AFA @ Portuguese Bookshop Gallery, Macau, China co-exhibition "Dirty Story", BM Suma, Istanbul, Turkey HEP (Human Emotion Project) Screening, Caldas-da-Rainha, Portugal HEP Screening, Berlin, Germany "Thistles of Sazak", art performance, Karaburun, Izmir, Turkey "Istanbul-Off-Spaces" co-exhibition, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, Germany co-exhibition "Interzone:Nation", Gallery Galzenica, Zagreb, Croatia HEP Screening, LaSala in Cigunuela, Spain HEP screening, Melbourne, Australia "Varning för klämrisk", Solo Exhibition, Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden to Ankara International Film Festival, Ankara, Turkey 2008 1st Int. Roaming Biennial of Tehran, Berlin, Germany "Hög på Golvet" group exhibition at Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden 1st Int. Roaming Biennial of Tehran, Istanbul, Turkey International Mail Art Project 2008, Conceptual Continuity Supermarket 2008 Art Fair with Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden 2007 "Fear of god" co-exhibition, Hafriyat Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey "Bodrum Film Festival", Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey "Jag, min husses hund" group exhibition, Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden "Nightcomers" project in the 10th Biennial of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey Scope NYC [PAM], Scope Art Fair, Lincoln Center, New York, USA 2006 co-exhibition "Labyrint" in Botkyrka Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden Artist's "Sann dialog" ("Real dialogue") contemporary art activity has been started. Stockholm, Sweden Artist sent his videoperformance named as "Öppet brev till Migrationsverket" to Migrationsverket ("Open letter to Sweden Migration Board") 51', Stockholm, Sweden 2004 Artist given his art-object named as "För uppehållsstillstånd" to Migrationsverket ("For residence permission"), Istanbul, Turkey co-exhibition "Bridge from east to west", BBK Karlsruhe, Germany 2003 co-exhibition of AIAP "Hal/iç" with work name the "Difficult sleep". Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey 2002 co-exhibition "Arts Plastiques" in METU Spring Festival at METU Congre Center, Ankara, Turkey co-exhibition "A travel into life" at Kargart, Istanbul, Turkey 2001 "Sometimes when I'm high, I watch TV", video performance screening, Dulcinea, Istanbul, Turkey Artist's "Solitudo" contemporary art activity has been started. A solo contemporary art exhibition with 210 participants: I want my mirrors. Dulcinea Istanbul, Turkey 2000 co-exhibition "Veritas Omnia Vincit", Istanbul, Turkey Artist's "I want my mirrors" contemporary art activity has been started, Istanbul, Turkey 1999 "2th Interbalcanic Symposium of Visual Arts" and co-exhibition, Samotrache/Greece 1998 "...self", solo exhibition. Dulcinea, Istanbul, Turkey co-exhibition "The Other", Istanbul, Turkey 1996 "Citypaintings", solo exhibition. Habitat II/NGO Forum '96 art activities, Istanbul, Turkey Publication of book of poems: "Limpin Bird" (Aksak Kus) (168 page, 81 poem, 81 picture), Istanbul, Turkey 1995 Fourth Biennial of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey co-exhibition "Young Activity/Borders and Beyong", Istanbul, Turkey 1991 Short film maker and director, ("Everything is as it is", 24', 16 mm. Included in TRT's "Young Cinematographers" programme), Istanbul, Turkey

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