2013–2015

Never Again!: Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past

Issues around the past have increasingly become a topic of discussion in the political and social spheres both in our geography and at other places in the world in recent years. Confronting the past and the demand for apology is the major point of controversy in this discussion.

Confronting the past is not a predicament that befell Turkey; it is an issue on the world's agenda, a universal cause. This is why looking at comparative international case studies from around the world will contribute to transforming the culture of forgetting in Turkey and acknowledging that a remembering culture that would restore a sense of justice is a part of the civilization process. In this respect confronting the past and apology is also about what kind of a society we want to live in and the kind of shared future we want to build.

The exhibition "Never Again!: Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past" aims to explore experiences of coming to terms with the past and the act of apologizing in scope of societies' efforts to constitute a common culture of democracy from a relational perspective. Looking closely at eight cases from around the world, the exhibition contemplates how states have come to terms with past rights violations, massacres, genocide and crimes of humanity, and the meaning of the issued apology.

In addition to the specifically presented case studies, the exhibition also includes a comprehensive map of the official apologies issued up to date. This special project realized in consultancy with Elazar Barkan and Graham G. Dodds and visually designed by designer and artist Mahir M. Yavuz, explores official apologies via the relation of the historical context and given space.

Two books were also published in scope of the project. The catalogue, which is a complementary volume to the exhibition, can be obtained free of charge from Depo throughout the exhibit. The second volume, titled Never Again!: Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past, comprised of texts examining the case studies presented in the exhibition in detail and featuring contributions by authors and academicians working on issues of confronting the past, has been published by İletişim Publishing.

Project coordinators Asena Günal (editor), Önder Özengi (curator), Özlem Yalçınkaya Case texts Mehmet Sinan Birdal, Derviş Aydın Akkoç Academic consultant Elazar Barkan List of official apologies Graham G. Dodds Exhibition design Sarper Takkeci Exhibition and catalog graphic design and application Fevkalade Data mapping Mahir M. Yavuz Video editing Sevgi Ortaç Photo edit Derin Korman Translations Irazca Geray, Liz Amado, Barış Yıldırım, Aslı Çetinkaya, Aylin Ülçer, Çiçek Öztek, Balca Ergener Exhibition design application Şantiye Destek Photo prints DAKA A.Ş., Folio prints 3T Reklam Print Mas Matbaacılık A.Ş.

Exhibition Calender

25 October - 15 December 2013, İstanbul, Depo
2 – 25 May 2014, İzmir, Resim Heykel Müzesi Kültür Park Sanat Galerisi
4 – 29 June 2014, Diyarbakır, Amed Sanat Galerisi
10 - 25 October 2014, Samsun, Atatürk Kültür Merkezi Devlet Güzel Sanatlar Galerisi
10 December 2014 - 30 January 2015, Bursa, Nilüfer Belediyesi Nâzım Hikmet Kültürevi Yeraltı Sanat Galerisi
7 February - 1 March 2015, Ankara, Çankaya Belediyesi Çağdaş Sanatlar Merkezi

"Never Again!: Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past", is a joint project of Open Society Foundation and Anadolu Kültür.