On 28 May 2012 the first protesters gathered at Gezi Park near Taksim Square to demonstrate against a planned construction project. Soon the “Occupy Gezi” camp hunkered down in the park, took over Taksim Square and united a broad array of divergent positions, groups and social classes: workers and intellectuals, football fans and trans people, moderate Muslims and Kemalists, Kurds and Turks, progressives and reactionaries. Although the police forcibly cleared out both locations several weeks later, the demonstrators experienced – at least briefly – a democratic utopia where Kurdish and queer minorities, apolitical people and various social camps found a common cause against political repression.
The Maxim Gorki Theater in cooperation with the association “Theater findet Stadt” would like to revisit the artistic-creative moments of this movement with a multifaceted festival programme entitled “Gezi – 10 Years After”. In addition to the installation of a library with literature about the Gezi demonstrations and other forms of protest, the Maxim Gorki Theater will organise readings, performances, concerts and a documentary film series. The organisers will also present the exhibition “Gezi Revisited”, showcasing works by some 30 artists, such as Didem Pekün, Oliver Ressler, Hale Tenger and Cana Bilir-Meier. One of the central questions is: What insights and ideas did the movement spark which could be useful for future forms of resistance? The project hopes to provide impulses for resistance movements – not only in Turkey, but also in other autocratic regimes. Moreover, as the venue, Berlin lends the project special resonance, as the city is home to some 200,000 residents of Turkish descent, some of whom continue to stoke translocal conflicts.
Shermin Langhoff and Erden Kosova, who were among the demonstrators at Gezi Park ten years ago, will curate “Gezi – 10 Years After” with support from a team of curatorial advisors, specifically Zehra Doǧan, Can Dündar, Aslı Erdoǧan, Deniz Yücel and Peter Steudtner. The latter, Peter Steudtner, a former human rights activist m Turkish authorities had arrested at the time – will head an accompanying workshop series dedicated to strengthening the resilience of activists, journalists, artists and other participants – with or without Gezi-protest experience.
Artistic director: Shermin Langhoff
Curators: Erden Kosova, Shermin Langhoff, Tunçay Kulağlu, Yunus Ersoy
Curatorial advisors: Zehra Doğan, Can Dündar, Asli Erdoğan, Peter Steudtner, Deniz Yücel
Artists: Memet Ali Alabora, Serkan Altuniğne, Murat Başol, Cana Bilir-Meier, Ebru Nihan Celkan, Collectif Medz i Bezar, András Dömötör, Ezhel, Anthony Hüseyin, Mely Kiyak and others
Festival: Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin: 27 May – 15 Jun. 2023
Maxim Gorki Theater
Am Festungsgraben 2
Telefon: 030 - 20221-0
https://www.gorki.de/en (external link, opens in a new window)