bi'bakwerk works with innovative site specific education concepts, which aim at an equal participation and the exchange of ideas, knowledge and creativity. Our workshops are cross-generational and focus on issues arising from the immediate neighborhood.


To the archive


Workshop Leaders Can Sungu and Malve Lippmann


bi’bak regards their transdisciplinary practices of artistic research as an experimental field. In search for new ways of dealing with cultural and collective memory, alternative perspectives to conventional, state-initiated commemorative culture are suggested. bi’baks research-based exhibition projects therefore trace the idea of “living archives” which differentiates itself from the classical definition of archive by focusing on a much more fluid, incomplete and participative social practice. Diversity, intersectionality, accessibility and subjectivity/objectivity are some of the terms which should be discussed in this deconstruction of official/hegemonial history writing. 

Izmir is a city which is strongly shaped by migration and transculturalism. Based on the transnational narratives of Izmir, in this workshop we follow the past and present of the city. Though it is formed by migration and trade, its transcultural structure unfortunately has been disrupted by nationalist politics again and again. How does the port of Izmir affect urban culture and social dynamics in the city? How did the multicultural demographics of Izmir evolve and how was it disrupted? How significant are the traces of major historical events, such as the “Great fire” and the people’s exchange between Turkey and Greece, today? How do Greek, Jewish, Levantine, Afro-Turkish, Kurdish communities and immigrants shape the memory of the city? How are these groups involved in the practices of commemorative culture? How did the trade networks, globalisation and tourism influence the culture of Izmir city (in terms of language, music, cuisine etc.)? What are the aesthetic dimensions of migration and mobilities in Izmir? 

These questions and more will guide us in our workshop through Izmir and it’s memory. We will discuss about new ways of research- and archive-based artistic practices and exchange ideas, experiences and know-how. All kinds of findings, notes, texts, images, audiovisual material which we collect during the workshop will be used to shape an outcome which we present to public at Karantina.

The workshop took place from 25.7. – 27.07.2019 at KARANTINA in Izmir, in cooperation with 6x6x6 (Izmir/TR) statt and was funded by Spaces of Culture, a project initiated by Goethe-Institut, the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Institut francais de Turquie; in cooperation with Anadolu Kültür and Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)