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bi'bak's research-based exhibitions focus on widely neglected narratives in (Western) Europe in order to generate new perspectives that are crucial to a complex understanding of socio-political and socio-economic contexts worldwide.

Exhibitions
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SILA YOLU | Istanbul

The Holiday Transit to Turkey and the Tales of the Highway

By Malve Lippmann and Can Sungu

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SILA YOLU | Berlin

The Holiday Transit to Turkey and the Tales of the Highway

By Malve Lippmann and Can Sungu

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Sıla yolu, autoput, death road, way home - the former European route 5 (E5) between Germany and Turkey has many names. The transit route served generations of migrant workers as the main link between Western Europe and their countries of origin. The former "guest worker route" is still an important route today for holidaymakers, commuters and new groups of immigrants.

For the installation, Malve Lippmann and Can Sungu from bi'bak talked to numerous travelers, families, highway and picnic experts on the old and new routes. Complemented by text, image and film material from the past and present, the exhibition tells the story of the route, the old and the new Europe, the borders and obstacles and the changing landscapes along the sıla yolu (Turkish for: way home).

In an audiovisual installation integrated in a Ford Transit (built in 1985), which stopped off at various locations in Berlin and Istanbul between 2016 and 2017, the highway between Germany and Turkey is thematized in all its facets. The focus of our exhibition project SILA YOLU – The Holiday Transit to Turkey and the Tales of the Highway lays on the individual and collective search for a route, finding destinations and starting points, traveling the distance and bringing along and transporting expectations, fantasies, memories and artefacts. The project deals not only with the physical path between two places, but also with the complex space of emotions, in which the concepts of culture, identity and community oscillate rapidly, but sometimes are also bound to immutable ideas. In addition, the exhibition shows an important part of German-Turkish migration history.

For the exhibition a publication with academic, artistic and literary contributions has been published, which can be ordered from us by email or downloaded here.

For more information visit the project website.

Concept and Artistic Direction: Malve Lippmann, Can Sungu
Project Assistants: Duygu Atçeken, Esra Akkaya, Hanna Döring
Workshop Leaders: Tuna Arkun, Malve Lippmann
Graphic Design: Çağın Kaya

To the events

Events

Director Tuncel Kurtiz Sweden/ Turkey 1978

60 min., OV with English subs

E5 Death Road / Guestworker’s Road

In the context of the accompanying program and the opening of the exhibition SILA YOLU – The Holiday Transit to Turkey and the Tales of the Highway we will be showing the historic documentary E5 Ölüm Yolu/ Gastarbeiterstrasse (E5 Death Road / Guestworker’s Road) – from the estate of the actor and director Tuncel Kurtiz.

Kurtiz, who had lived and worked in Germany for many years, portrays in his documentary, which was shot for Swedish TV in 1978, a variety of travellers on the former Europastraße (E5) between Germany and Turkey. At the time, the high rate of accidents on this road explained the myth-enshrouded reputation of it being the most dangerous highway in the world, which continues to this day. At rest areas, Kurtiz speaks to drivers about their home, the difficulty of the route and the intractability of the passion, which makes them drive this route despite everything.

As opener we will show the animation film Karambolage – Ford Transit (2009, 5’) by Christine Gensheimer and Timo Katz.

With kind support of Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit des Landes Berlin (LEZ).

Director Tunç Okan Turkey, France, Germany, Switzerland 1992

93 min., OV with English subs

MERCEDES MON AMOUR

The garbage man Bayram is driving his golden Mercedes, which he has saved for so hard, from Munich to his native village in Turkey, where he is hoping to impress his childhood love Kezban, and then finally to marry her. But the ride becomes a tragicomic odyssey, which will put more strain on his four-wheeled beloved. Upon his arrival, instead of the acknowledgement by the villagers of his Mercedes, more devastating disappointments await him.

As a supporting film we will show the animation Karambolage – Ford Transit (2009, 5’) by Christine Gensheimer and Timo Katz.

With kind support of Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit des Landes Berlin (LEZ).

DAUGHTERS AND SONS OF GASTARBEITERS

As part of the side program of SILA YOLU – The Holiday Transit to Turkey and The Tales of the Highway, the writers collective Daughters and Sons of Gastarbeiters reads about their memories of travelling on the sıla yolu (the highway Germany-Turkey).

Daughters and Sons of Gastarbeiters is an open literary project by authors from Berlin, whose parents came to Germany from the villages of Anatolia, Southern Europe, South Korea and the Balkans. As “Gastarbeiter” (guest workers), their mothers and fathers were supposed to facilitate the economic miracle. The daughters and sons are now looking back. In performative readings, they tell their personal stories and revive them with pictures.

With readings by Çiçek Bacık, Aziz Bozkurt, Semra Deniz, Koray Yılmaz Günay and Jasmin Karahan.

As an introduction we are screening the animation film Karambolage – Ford Transit (2009, 5’) by Christine Gensheimer and Timo Katz.

The project is kindly supported by QM Soldiner Kiez and the Bezirksamts Mitte, Stadtentwicklungsamt and is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and the state Berlin as part of the programme Zukunftsinitiative Stadtteil, Soziale Stadt.