Exhibition II - Berlin

Exhibition II - Berlin

On 11 April, the second exhibition of art coming out of the Anxious Borders initiative will take place at Apartment Project in Neukölln, Berlin.

Coming on the heels of the "teaser" exhibition in at Bi'Bak in Wedding, that was a review and report of the project's Mersin, Turkey iteration, the Exhibition II is a collection of new works by Spacedigger, Carbon Collective, and associated artists. The pieces show reflect a mediation on the themes explored over the course of the Anxious Borders activities in Mersin and Berlin.

Check out the Facebook invitation for opening and viewing times.

Artists/Scholars Join Discussion

Artists/Scholars Join Discussion

Three experts joined the Anxious Borders team in Berlin to discuss issues around migration, exclusion, stereotyping, and prejudice in the cosmopolitan urban landscape.

Kınay Olcaytu discussed her project, the Occidentalism Institute, and how ways of seeing and understanding across the East and West is always filtered through imaginations shaped by power relations.

Uğur Alhan, is a sociologist whose research focuses on the most recent wave of immigration from Turkey to Germany by middle class youth and the unique challenges they face in their new bi-national lives.

Zeynep Akbal, a PhD student at the University of Potsdam and video artist, lead a discussion about her research on foreignness its resulting self-alienation. The talks all fit with the Anxious Borders themes, and assisted the project team with their critical analysis of how borders reproduce themselves in the psyche.

Anxious Borders Berlin Underway

Anxious Borders Berlin Underway

Three more artists arrived from Mersin, joining Spacedigger and Carbon Collective's Elif and Tayfun in Berlin. The team has been visiting art and research spaces and well as experiencing the city's spaces of conflict, anxiety, and jouissance.

The Berlin phase of the project will culminate in an exhibition of original works from Spacedigger, Carbon Collective, and associated artists on 11 April.

Spacedigger Welcomes Carbon Collective to Berlin

Spacedigger Welcomes Carbon Collective to Berlin

In preparation for the final Anxious Borders exhibition taking place on 11 April at Apartment Project in Berlin, Carbon Collective is joining Spacedigger for a week of artistic exploration, brainstorming, and production.

Elif Köse and Tayfun Akdemir arrived in Berlin on 29 March, and have been exploring Berlin's cultural scene alongside the members of Spacedigger, Duygu Kaban and Jeremy Pine. Visiting museums, galleries, and experimental project spaces, the group is exploring both the city and modes of collaboration.

Bi'Baxchange in Soldiner Kiez

Bi'Baxchange in Soldiner Kiez

Spacedigger's presentation of the Anxious Borders initiative in Soldiner Kiez took place on 25 March at the project space Bi'Bak in Wedding, Berlin. The exhibition was a part of their Bi'Baxchange program, which features cultural and artistic interventions that have been implemented in regions outside of Berlin and Germany. The event, which welcomed over one hundred visitors, outlined the work done by the Anxious Borders team in Mersin, and recreated some of the research methodology in the local context of Soldiner Kiez.

Renk Magazine Features Anxious Borders

Renk Magazine Features Anxious Borders

Renk Magazine, which focuses on German-Turkish cultural life, promotes the Anxious Borders exhibition in Soldiren Kiez in Berlin.

Follow the link to see their take on Anxious Borders, and other recommendations for the best of Turkish culture in Germany.

Anxious Borders Berlin Kicks Off with a Teaser Exhibition

Anxious Borders Berlin Kicks Off with a Teaser Exhibition

Before the official start of the Berlin edition of Anxious Borders, Spacedigger is staging a teaser exhibition at the Bi'bak project space in Wedding.

The event is part of bi'baxchange, an initiative showcasing artistic projects that have been realized outside of Berlin. It is also a part of the Kolonie Wedding monthly weekend of art.

The exhibition will show what was accomplished at Anxious Borders Mersin, and will also highlight the diversity of Soldiren Kiez, the neighborhood where Bi'bak is located.

Mersin University Radio features Anxious Borders

Mersin University Radio features Anxious Borders

The program KeKeMe on the Mersin University Radio station invited Tayfun Akdemir and Duygu Kaban to speak as the featured guests and discuss the Anxious Borders project.

You can hear the program, which aired on 4 January, here. (Turkish language only.)

Exhibition Opening

Exhibition Opening

At the close of the workshop, the participants completed eight separate installations dealing with urban borders in Akdeniz. The thematic works tackle issues such as gendered spaces, nuclear energy, transportation access, refugee status, and cosmopolitanism. In addition to these works, the artifact collection, including a map for the objects, was displayed in the main hall of the exhibition space.

Spacedigger also produced a shot video about the history of the exhibition space, based on the memories of one member of the Nakkaş family, who used to inhabit it.

All participants!

All participants!

Day Five of Workshop - Duygu Atçeken and Mert Akbal lead creative prototying

Day Five of Workshop - Duygu Atçeken and Mert Akbal lead creative prototying

After participants broke into groups and began their field research, visiting artists and mentors, Duygu Atçeken and Mert Akbal, conducted critical, thought-provoking exercises to foster critical engagement with the issues raised so far in the Anxious Borders framework.

Mert Akbal used a future scenario process to give participants a more comprehensive perspective on the borders represented by the objects gathered for the artifact collection earlier in the week.

Duygu Atçeken worked with small groups to help direct their creative impulses, brainstorming with them about which media would be best to realize their visions. Together, both mentors aided groups with prototyping projects while leading up to the exhibition.

Day Three of Workshop - Artifact Collection

Day Three of Workshop - Artifact Collection

On the third day, the workshop officially moved from Mersin University to its on-site location in Akdeniz, one of the first and most iconic building in the old city of Mersin. Known today as the former "Mickey Mouse Kreş," the building itself represents Akdeniz and Mersin's evolution over the years.

Participants engaged in their first independent tasks of the workshop, an artifact collection. Each participant roamed the streets of various parts of Akdeniz in order to find an object that represents a pressing contested or anxious border in the city. They noted information about the objects' physicality and surroundings. Later, they presented these to the rest of the group. At the workshop exhibition, the artifact collection will serve as a grounding piece to help visitors understand some of the usually unrecognized borders in their everyday lives.

While the organizing team took catalogued the artifact collection, participants went out into the field again to interview key local informants in the fields of transportation and global flows, history/culture, trade and economy, gender issues, and energy.

Day Two of Workshop - Social Research

Day Two of Workshop - Social Research

Day two of the workshop opened with a presentation by Spacedigger's Jeremy Pine about social science research methods. The talk showed the importance of choosing a representative sample set, and outlined the pros and cons of gathering data with the use of surveys, semi-structured interviews, oral histories, and participant-observation. The ethics of social research were also discussed, paying special attention to how to work with vulnerable populations.

After learning about how to conduct fieldwork, participants were directed by the Spacedigger team to think critically about the concept of "borders." 

We can think of a border as that which separates and can be crossed with difficulty. The verb "to border" represents both to divide and to press up against. Paradoxically, a border keeps two entities apart but also close together at the same time. Borders can visible or invisible, physical or metaphorical, existing in space and along social lines (socio-economic/gender/ability/race and ethnicity/etc.).

Participants worked in groups to brainstorm new ways to view the concept of borders in the context of Mersin.

At the end of the day, the workshop went onsite to the Akdeniz municipality, where Volkan Gültekin recounted the social, economic, and demographic make up of the district.