About

bi'baxchange aims to showcase cross-border collaborations with cultural actors, project spaces and initiatives. Based on interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation projects, bi'baxchange seeks to exchange ideas, perspectives and know-how. In lecture performances, pop-up exhibitions, readings and presentations, bi'baxchange focuses on the decentralized, rhizomic connection between art, design, academics, participation, urban space and local activism.

Series/ Events
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FAVA CONNECTION

The Cultural and Historical Relations between Greece and Turkey

Curated by Pegah Keshmirshekan and Umut Azad Akkel

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FAVA CONNECTION

The Symposium FAVA CONNECTION provides a glimpse into the historical and contemporary relationships between Greece and Turkey, through the lens of artists, curators, scholars and art directors from both countries. In a series of lectures, panel discussions, performances, workshops and film screenings, the symposium raises questions about shared narratives, identities and practices, as well as those forced separations and exclusions present throughout the histories of Turkey and Greece, and also tangible today.

In six events, held at UdK Berlin and bi’bak, FAVA CONNECTION discusses the historical backgrounds of these transnational relations, such as the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s, and queries how a sense of belonging to a space can be constructed. In this context, the so-called ‘European identity’ and its detrimental effect on the nation-states in the mentioned regions is reconsidered. The symposium deals with current political tensions and their effects on daily life and activities, aiming to create opportunities for further discussion.

Pegah Keshmirshekan, born in 1997 in Iran, working and living in Berlin, is a multi-disciplinary artist. She is currently studying Fine Arts at UdK Berlin and has exhibited her work in Tehran and Berlin. She is a member of the Soltity Collective (Fine Art experimental group) and co-founder of I.D.A. Initiative.

Umut Azad Akkel was born in 1991 in İzmir, Turkey. He works and lives in Berlin. He is practising visual art, product design and curating cultural seminars. He is one of the co-founders of I.D.A. Initiative (Intercultural/Diversity/Antidiscrimination) at Universität der Künste Berlin.

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German-Turkish Film and Video Culture in Berlin

Concept by Can Sungu

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Events

Followed by a talk with İz Öztat and Alexis Fidetzis

Identity Building beyond the National, the Religious and the European

Artist talk with Alexis Fidetzis and İz Öztat moderated by Bilge Emir and Ilgaz Yalçınoğlu

The artistic practice of Alexis Fidetzis and İz Öztat is strongly linked to the topic of identity building and (national) identity in the context of Greece and Turkey. With his perspective on naval trade between Greek and Turkish fishing boats, Alexis Fidetzis’ latest project is reminiscent of the 1990s, when fishermen used to meet in the open seas in order to exchange their catch, so that they would communally benefit from the preferences and pricing of two different markets. In addressing issues of commerce, community and grassroots economy, he is suggesting a utopian resolution. İz Öztat will give an account of how she occupies multiple subject positions in her practice. She will articulate her artistic research methodologies which incorporate fiction, the concepts of ‘haunting’ and ‘channeling’, collaboration and contractual negotiations, referring to the contexts in which they take shape.

In a panel discussion, the topic of identity will be further discussed in a regional and national context, examining the possibilities of constructing an identity beyond nationality and religion. Moreover, the question of how to position oneself in relation to the concept of a so-called ‘European identity’, which is strongly shaped by the west, will be raised.

İz Öztat lives and works in Istanbul. She performs in multiple fields, such as making, gathering, writing, translating, hosting and mediating. Her work deals with the return of the repressed past in the present, potentials of fiction in challenging official narratives and ideological implications of display. She is a member of BAÇOY KOOP, a group for collective, independent publishing.

Alexis Fidetzis is an artist based in Athens, Greece, where he was born in 1987. He holds a BFA in painting from the Athens School of Fine Arts and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York City where he explored research based art focusing on art and geopolitics. His art is mainly based on historical research.

Followed by a talk with Persefoni Myrtsou

Maltepe Gelinleri | The Brides of Maltepe

The screening will be followed by an artist talk and a discussion with Persefoni Myrtsou on the topic of being a Greek immigrant in Turkey.

Maltepe Gelinleri | The Brides of Maltepe explores the verbal transcriptions of relationships and confessions from four families in Greece, Turkey and Germany. In a genealogically tense Greek-Turkish environment, Eva Giannakopoulou and Persefoni Myrtsou share their lives between these three countries. As observers and circumstantial protagonists making use of rigorous methodology, they attempt an introspective process, examining the stereotypical and prevailing structures of transnational love and maverick forms of partnership.

Persefoni Myrtsou was born in Thessaloniki and is a practising visual artist and cultural anthropologist. She studied Fine Arts at Glasgow School of Art and later at the Institute for Art in Context at the UdK Berlin. Persefoni has exhibited and performed in multiple settings. She currently lives and works in Istanbul and regularly travels to Berlin and Thessaloniki.

Persefoni Myrtsou was born in Thessaloniki and is a practising visual artist and cultural anthropologist. She studied Fine Arts at Glasgow School of Art and later at the Institute for Art in Context at the UdK Berlin. Persefoni has exhibited and performed in multiple settings. She currently lives and works in Istanbul and regularly travels to Berlin and Thessaloniki.

University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin

Followed by a talk with Aspasia Anogiati

The History of Politiki Lyra / Klasik Kemençe as an Example of Interculturality

In her lecture, Aspasia Anogiati will discuss the story of an instrument, the origins of which have been lost in the course of time. The story of the ‘Kemençe’ (in Turkey) or ‘Lyra’ (in Greece) is an example of how people inhabiting the same area, sharing similar landscape impressions, singing and dancing to the same melodies, have almost everything in common, no matter what their passports or their religions say, or which words they use in their language. There is a common language connecting people, and music is an important aspect of it.

Aspasia Anogiati is a trained actress, musicologist and musician. She graduated from the Drama School of The Athens Conservatory and later got a degree in Politiki Lyra from the Technical University of Epirus. She has taught theatre and music in different public schools and institutions, and is still an active musician in the field of traditional music of the East Mediterranean (lyre and singing).

University of the Arts (UdK)

Followed by a talk with Ayşenur Babuna

The Contemporary Artist as Reflexive Colonizer: Anthropological Preaching

For her first Central-European activist action in the heart of Berlin, Ayşenur Babuna invites all critical and reflective souls of the city to a phantasmagoric, ultra-Southeast European performative lecture-party. Together we will seek to address urgent questions such as “Is the anthropological gaze just the cover-up for cultural appropropriation?”, “Can we talk about Euro-Arabesque, after European Islam?”, “Can only Westerner artists be good colonialists and ethnographers?”, “Is the humanitarian perspective the only way the make sense of politics, art and culture?” and “Does the Global South know it is the Global South?”. Ayşenur is looking forward to discuss all these critical issues with her fantastic Berliner flock ❤

Ayşenur Babuna is a feminist entrepreneur and Islamic activist from Turkey working on different intercultural and interreligious projects under the umbrella of a strong internationally networked Sisterhood. Post-human female embodiments, marginal Islamic feminisms and ambiguous configurations of queerness, femininity and sexualism are contradicted, supplemented and subverted by culturalist totalitarian fantasies, Neo-Ottoman exceptionalism and romantic notions of resistance and autonomy. Ayşenur never repeats her site- and context-specific actions and is occasionally a fictional persona.

www.aysenurbabuna.com, https://www.facebook.com/aysenurbabuna

Identifying yourself as Elladitis/a or Turkish

Followed by a talk with Banu Karaca, Viron Erol Vert and Hera Büyüktaşcıyan

Questions of Marginality and the Periphery of the Canon

Artist Talk: Hera Büyüktaşcıyan and Viron Erol Vert

At her presentation, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan will be showing a selection of works related with the notions of aquatic nature of memory in reference to absence, invisibility and visibility within the framework of space and history relationship. Viron Erol Vert will talk about his current work "All Borders are Within Us". With this work as a reference, he will speak on life practices within immigration, cultural identification and social transformation. 

Lecture: Art, Dispossession and the Writing of Post-Ottoman Art Histories

Banu Karacas lecture on ‘​Art, Dispossession and the Writing of Post-Ottoman Art Histories’ discusses ​how nationalism and the politics of dispossession have shaped historical artistic narratives and how, in the process, artworks have been made illegible.  

Panel discussion:

In a panel discussion, the artists/academics will discuss questions on being a minority in Greece and Turkey and also the identification of Elladitis/a and Turkish.

Banu Karaca (PhD) works at the intersection of political anthropology and critical theory, art and aesthetics, nationalism and cultural policy, museums and feminist memory studies. Her recent publications interrogate freedom of expression in the arts, the visualization of gendered memories of war and political violence, and visual literacy. She is currently EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin. Her ongoing research investigates how dispossessed and “lost” artworks have shaped the writing of Post-Ottoman art histories.

Viron Erol Vert, born in Germany, lives and works between Istanbul and Berlin. He studied Clothing Design at HTW Berlin and the Department for Visual Art at the Royal Academy in Antwerp. Vert graduated from his master class in Fashion Design at the HTW and at the Department for Experimental Surface at the KHB in Berlin with mentionable honor.

Hera Büyüktaşcıyan lebt und arbeitet in Istanbul. Sie studierte an der Marmara Universität, Fakultät für bildende Künste, Abteilung Malerei. Sie benutzt den Begriff der Abwesenheit und Unsichtbarkeit, um eine imaginäre Verbindung zwischen Identität, Erinnerung, Raum und Zeit durch unsichtbare und vergessene Aspekte der Geschichte herzustellen.

Small excursions around Ottoman Shadow Theatre

Followed by a talk with Birgit Auf der Lauer

Closing Event & Trembling is the Curtain / Shaken the Screen:

Birgit Auf der Lauer & Caspar Pauli will give a short presentation on the history and structure of ottoman
Gölge Oyunu/ Shadow Puppetry. 

In this workshop, Bi'bak will turn into a temporary shadow theatre, to revisit an Ottoman shadow puppet cast. It consists of Jews and b*tches, Arabs, dandies, belly dancers, Armenians, Opium addicts, witches, European and Anatolian types. The artist invite to make new monsters / shadow puppets, while asking how nationalist ideology affect the characters in the shadow play.

Closing Event begins at 19:00

Birgit Auf der Lauer has been working together with Caspar Pauli since 2010. They are interested in aesthetic and political levels of urban and rural areas. After detailed research, they work with different forms of expression such as installation, drawing and performance. For their work they receive regular promotions and awards. Together with the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum in Berlin they run the Kanuclub for Urban Exploration.