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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German-Turkish Film and Video Culture in Berlin

Concept by Can Sungu

Please rewind

Berlin is home to a large German-Turkish community which is today an integral part of the city’s cultural life. Over the years, this community has established a Turkish film culture in Berlin. Starting with screenings of Turkish films in Berlin cinemas, Turkish-language videos conquered the market in the 1980s as a welcome alternative to exclusively German TV channels. The numerous video stores which offered these films played a key role, along with the ‘Turkish Bazaar’ at the metro station station Bülowstraße. Video sessions with neighbours and friends became important social events in family life. In addition to the vast range of Yeşilçam productions with its comedies, action films and melodramas, Turkish films produced in Germany also became popular, specifically those that dealt with migration experiences, alienation from the region of origin or country of origin, identity, religion and family. These films and their aesthetics have shaped a whole generation of renowned German filmmakers, such as Thomas Arslan, Fatih Akin, Ayse Polat, and many others. So far the history of this migrant film culture which originates in Germany has not received enough attention; indeed, it is almost completely absent in discourses on post-migrant films. This film culture and the associated places, actors and transnational narratives are an important testimony of German film and German cultural history and must therefore be remembered and acknowledged. With this publication, bi'bak embarks on a rediscovery of German-Turkish film and video culture in Berlin.

Curated by Can Sungu. Contributions by Ömer Alkin, Cem Kaya and others. 

Funded by the Förderung zeitgeschichtlicher und erinnerungskultureller Projekte of Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.

Can Sungu studied film and visual communication design in Istanbul and at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has given workshops and seminars in the field of film and published texts on film and migration. As an artist, he participated in numerous exhibitions, including at MMSU Rijeka, Künstlerhaus Vienna and REDCAT Los Angeles. He is co-founder and artistic director of bi‘bak.

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Screening, presentation and discussion

PLEASE REWIND: Turkish Video Tapes in Germany

When the first video recorders hit Germany in the early 1980s, the new technology was welcomed especially in the German-Turkish communities. While hardly any Turkish-language programs were available on television, it was now possible to watch Turkish movies on video cassettes. The video nights became important social events, bringing together family, neighbors and friends. Soon, numerous video production companies were founded in Germany that imported movies from Turkey, recorded them on video cassettes and distributed them nationwide to retailers, video stores and Turkish supermarkets. The videos filled a market niche that specifically addressed the Turkish audience in Germany.

With Replaying Home, Can Sungu has created a video collage which establishes a new narration based on selected excerpts from Turkish films shot in Germany in the 1970s and 80s. The film is a journey through a fictional universe based on stereotypes, culture shock, occidentalism, homesickness and the trauma of living abroad. Expanded by video snippets and lectures, the event provides insights into Turkish film and video culture in Germany and discusses the role that film culture ought to play in German cultural history and memory culture.

Director Cem Kaya Germany 2014

96, OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Cem Kaya

PLEASE REWIND: Remake, Remix, Rip-Off

In the 1960’s and 70’s, the Turkish film industry “Yeşilçam” was one of the biggest producers of film in the world. TV only slowly became a commodity in Turkish living rooms in the mid 70s, so cinema, together with radio, was the only mass media everyone could afford. Big open air cinemas all over the country showed several movies one after the other. The cinema experience was often connected with having a picnic. Cem Kaya grew up with Yeşilçam movies from Turkish video stores in Germany. His documentary illustrates the origin of copy culture of Turkish filmmakers, starting with Yeşilçam until today's television series. Remake, Remix, Rip-Off was in production for  seven years, a time in which Kaya watched thousands of movies and conducted about a hundred interviews.

Cem Kaya is a documentary filmmaker from Berlin with a quirky interest in found footage. Coming from the field of cultural studies, his films combines humorous storytelling with deep background knowledge. Remake, Remix, Rip-Off was screened at some of the most important international film festivals, including Berlinale and  Locarno Film Festival.