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Fri, 26 Aug



Telephone call from arthereistanbul - Waseem Alsharqi

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Telephone call from arthereistanbul - Waseem Alsharqi
Telephone call from arthereistanbul - Waseem Alsharqi

Time & Location

26 Aug 2022, 18:00 – 20:00

Kadıköy, Rasimpaşa, Beydağı Sk 3 A, 34716 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey

About the event

Footsteps will make a call to the Berlin-based writer, dramaturg and theater director Waseem Alsharqi from arthereistanbul on Friday, August 26 at 18:00 and ask him how he is doing nowadays, about his time in Istanbul and his current projects.

Telephone Call from arthereIstanbul! - Waseem Alsharqi at the other end of the line.

Telephone Call from arthereIstanbul!, the conversation corner of the Footsteps Library launched as part of the 17th Istanbul Biennial is calling Waseem Alsharqi, a writer, dramaturg and theater director living in Germany. Waseem Alsharqi, who previously worked in Syria and Lebanon, was a resident of Istanbul between 2015 and 2017. During this time he staged a closet drama entitled What are we to do in Istanbul?, adapted from Füruzan’s novel Parasız Yatılı [Free Boarding School] and Bernard-Marie Koltès’ play Roberto Zucco. He also staged the Arabic-Turkish play, The Unfinished Night of the Seagulls. This play was described as “A theater play that was brought to the stage after a series of interactive theater workshops with amateur actors based in Istanbul, inspired by the working conditions faced by Syrian workers in the city.”

The solidarity space, art center arthereistanbul, established by immigrant artists in the Yeldeğirmeni district of Istanbul, will host the Footsteps Library during the Biennial. This library consists of approximately 600 Turkish and Arabic books that tell stories from the margins of wars, from Homer's Iliad to the present. arthereistanbul will be the hub for a series of meetings during the 17th Istanbul Biennial between September 17 and November 20. The topic will be approached in many ways with sound, visuals, music, photos, installation, book readings and phone calls. At each meeting, excerpts from the Footsteps Library books will be read aloud. Telephone Call from arthereIstanbul! will lend an ear and give the time of the day to the artists who have passed by this place and left their mark there, from wherever they are in the world now.

arthereistanbul, Yeldeğirmeni

26 August 2022, Friday

6 p.m.-8 p.m.

What is Footsteps?

Footsteps is a learning process, an attempt to collect stories from the margins of wars. Stories that are urgent but for which the pathways for the conversations that lead to these stories are uncertain and difficult. Sometimes a few words, a short story, a memory or a dream could describe the experience of living with war in an explicit way. Like a woman’s brief memory from the day she fled the war in Syria: “Although the climate in the neighbouring country Turkey is just the same, I packed summer clothes in the bag during winter when we decided to leave the next morning.” Or in Herta Müller’s mother’s story from a village in Romania in 1945: “Many people hid. My mother spent four days in the ground. Then the snow came. They couldn’t bring her food in secret anymore, every step between house, barn and hole in the ground became visible. Throughout the village the way to every hiding place could be seen in all that snow. Footsteps could be read in the garden. People were denounced by the snow. Not just my mother, many people had to abandon their hiding places voluntarily, forced out voluntarily by the snow. And that meant five years in the work camp. My mother never forgave the snow.”

Footsteps Library consists of a collection of books that deal with the stories and experiences of war that are often forgotten or left in the shadow of larger events and traumas. arthereIstanbul is the central hub for the Footsteps project. It is an arts space founded by Syrian artists living in Istanbul to provide Syrian artists with support, visibility and a place to work.

Footsteps intends to open up a space for thinking together with the oldest method of communication that is the voice. Talks, conversations, recordings, reading aloud and together constitute an important part of the process. Besides a library Footsteps will try to explore an object, a text, a moment, a song, a space, an installation as forms of artistic, literary impression through talks, meetings, a podcast series and concerts to reflect on war.

Footsteps has set out with arthereIstanbul at the invitation of the 17th Istanbul Biennial.

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