Hakkari Yüksekova Şemdinli Activities

August 2006 - October 2007
Hakkari, Yüksekova, Şemdinli

Several bombings in Şemdinli in November 2005 led to many civil society organizations from Istanbul and Ankara to head out to Hakkari to find answers to the question “what is going on”. Anadolu Kültür was part of one of the groups that went to the region in the immediate aftermath of the bombings.

The four intense days spent in Hakkari, Şemdinli and Yüksekova made it very clear that urgent action needed to be taken for the city and its districts. The people of Hakkari had voiced their concern over not being allowed to gather, and to use the streets, squares, restaurants or coffee houses as they wished, or in other words, of there being no civilian space.

The main aim of the program that was formed to respond to this situation that included many fields including photography exhibitions, panels, film screenings and city and photography workshops was to contribute to the widening of civilian space in Hakkari, and its districts, Şemdinli and Yüksekova. The project envisioned artists, civil society institutions, academicians and media members from Istanbul, Ankara and Europe to travel to the region in order to form a bridge of meeting and communication between cities. The project that began in August 2006 was supported by the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and the Chrest Foundation, and a collaboration with local institutions such as Hakkari Ka-Mer, Gençlik Evi (Youth House), Vizyon Sineması (The Vizyon Movie House), Doğu Radyo (‘Radio East’) enabled the organization of two exhibitions, six panels, two workshops and tens of film screenings over a period of around a year. When possible, every event was repeated at the other centres. In addition to the events program, a two-day design workshop was organized with the young team that produced the local culture and arts magazine Ajar, focusing on improving the technical proficiency of the magazine.