Forced Migration and the Arts

Gathering at Cezayir in Istanbul, February 20th 2015.


The InEnArt team together with the Goethe-Institut organized the Forced Migration and the Arts gathering at Cezayir February 20th. On this occasion we presented some results of the Searching Traces workshops series that took place in December 2014 in Istanbul together with additional workshops organized by the Goethe-Institut in Turkey.

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The Goethe-Institut together with the InEnArt team organized in December three workshops in Istanbul – Dance with Ziya Azazi, Theater for youngsters with Batool Mohamad and a videoworkshop with Thomas Büsch, Ziad Homsi and Sabine Küper. The Goethe-Institut organized as well a workshop for youngster about stilts in Mardin.

InEnArt lauchned the video channel Searching Traces, presenting short videos about forced migration and the living condition in exil on the example of Istanbul.

The workshops explored how processes of forced displacement can be and have been reflected in works of art and other forms of cultural expression.

Forced migrants found exil in countries like Lebanon or Turkey, they are working hard to build on the momentum they had been rapidly gaining in the immediate years before Syria began to come apart. In this exile, they — mostly unknown to the world — are trying to find visions and defining new expressions.

Video ‘Instable’ created by Nadine Al Lahham for the videoworkshop

As the struggle in the world escalated in summer 2014 InEnArt examined with Tightrope Walking the characteristics of art and culture created by migrants. Tightrope Walking refers to the funambulist Philippe Petit crossing the space between the two towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. The Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrer experienced this form of crossing when he was denied exit from his hometown Rammallah over Jordan to New York to attend a group exhibition in summer 2014.

The recent struggle raises fundamental questions about the state of the world and the human race, ones that should prompt new, liberatory ways of thinking and expression.

We discussed possible future steps of liberatory ways in cultural expression and thinking regarding forced migration and displacement.

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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