Humorous tag lines and strong imageries on banners, walls, and social media, rainbow colored stairs, the ‘standing men’ out on the streets, whirling dervishes wearing gas masks… Clever and provocative videos, documentaries, remixes… Activism became art, art became activism… Creative resistance, online and offline, was at the core of the recent Gezi Protests in Turkey and fueled the “Gezi Spirit”: People of different social/cultural backgrounds used different outlets to spread the news and to share their voices, while the mainstream media kept its silence. The Gezi (Media) Lab was launched by MODE Istanbul (an initiative working in the area of digital media and culture) at the onset of the protests to provide a space for young people to explore the Gezi Spirit and to produce new media works, individually and collectively. Gezi Lab was organized as part of the “Lab MODE” program, which includes various long-term projects and media labs of MODE Istanbul.
Each mini lab, held once a month as part of Gezi Lab, focused on different themes such as “The Symbols of Gezi”, “Video Activism”, “Gender and Resistance” and ”The Sound of Gezi”. The participating artists created links between the widely discussed subjects the Gezi events brought to the forefront like citizens rights, censorship, urban transformation, the reclaiming of public spaces, collective action, commons and migration, and expressed their views via the media works they created. A selection of completed media works will be presented to the audiences with this showcase, after which a talk will be held with the creators.
Participating Artists: Ayşe Aybüke Samast, Enes Uysal, Fatih Bilgin, Hande Zerkin, Hülya Mete, Hüseyin Çifel, Mehmet Sami, Tahribad-ı İsyan
Project Team: Gökçe Su Yoğurtçuoğlu (Project Director), Sena Başöz (Artistic Director), Nagehan Uskan (Event Facilitator)
Wander Around, Fatih Bilgin, 3:09
There was no place left except for the Gezi Park. The last remaining trees of Taksim created a home for the homeless and a hope for the hopeless. When the trees revealed their secret, my people wandered, wandered and wandered around.
Dear Human, Hüseyin Çifel, 2:14
What happens today is the indicator of how people can get together when desired. What happens today is the indicator of how some of us can leave behind titles while others cannot tolerate having empathy. What happens today is about human beings. What happens today is about the essence. What happens today is the actual process.
Taksim Shopping Mall, Aybüke Samast, 1:51
Istanbul is turning into an uninhabitable economic ‘rant’ bell jar with an understanding of urban design that does not go further than highway, residence and shopping mall constructions. For the city dweller whose life is reduced to a consumption race, Istanbul is turning into a block with no exit.
Coaster Rec, Hande Zerkin, 1:25
Coaster Rec reports from the funfair.
Settler Migrant, Hülya Mete, 2:47
This is a remix video telling the story of migration through the district of Beyoğlu in Istanbul, questioning the relocation of people taking place in the city throughout its history, emphasizing the circular aspect of migration.
Züleyha, Aybüke Samast, 3:05
The role of women in the hegemonic men’s world is constrained into a catwalk that is set up over expectations, the woman being the element which is made to consume herself through herself the most. Ideas and approaches on the ‘woman’s side’ seem to be lacking as they are established over men\the system.
A Memory of One’s Choice, Enes Uysal, 5:03
We express ourselves with memories, even if they are not ours.
Genitalia, Hülya Mete, 2:27
Bio-power and sexism are encircling us from all sides. We are surrounded by the demands of the ruling party that range from what jobs to choose to which gender to have. The ruling party leaks into our ideas. We reproduce sexism with the funny videos we watch. Would you like to take a fresh look at these videos?
Bare, Hüseyin Çifel, 3:59
Every step we take against the sameness of the society by getting rid of our given titles to enter our own existence is a step forward but at the same time with this step we enter a suppressive environment. This step initiates a resistance against life in which we take part in our purest self.
Some Trees and Children Change, Fatih Bilgin, 2:18
We know our history deeply as trees. The oldest side of us is our childhood. We think about our past years when we see an aged tree. Two things change: trees and children.
Leave Room For Nature, Enes Uysal, 3:31
Composed of archive footage from the ‘68 Paris student uprisings, this video is about an ever-changing story that repeats itself.
Dasein, Hande Zerkin, 1:58
One morning I woke up and I felt that my soul had left me. A huge emptiness.. But I wasn’t too sad. Nevertheless, to exist is not everything.
Resistance, Aybüke Samast, 3:30
What happened during Gezi process was the outcome of being human. The religious references that the counter argument rely on mainly underlie the necessity of human beings standing by the side of the truth and the righteous, supporting each other and not being silent against oppression at their core. The most important factors that affected us all and increased participation during Gezi incidents were the collective emergence of these most humane properties and the collective process of the individualities united in pursuit of what is right.
Which Lights?, Mehmet Sami, 2:39
“Which Lights?”, insincere but not hypocrite which questions its imbalance,
thankfully is the film of not deserving.
Zero and One, Hande Zerkin, 1:58
“Zero” represents the “0” digit in arithmetic and represents the non-existence of an attribute. “One” is a number and a digit. It comes after “0” in natural numbers system.
‘Gezi-minded’s, Sulukule Children’s Art Atelier, 5:16
A remix workshop (as part of Lab MODE) was organized with the participation of six young people from the Sulukule Children’s Art Atelier, including the members of the hip-hop group Tahribad-ı İsyan. The young artists made a music video for their song “Gezi-mindeds” with the support of Gezi Lab participants. Serdar Ferit took part as the main instructor of the workshop; and Fatih Bilgin as the main editor of the video.