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Viviane Sassen begeistert seit Jahren die Modefotowelt. Auch sie arbeitet in erster Linie mit dem menschlichen Körper, etwa indem...


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  |   7. September 2016

CANAKKALE BIENNIAL

The 5th edition of the art festival has been cancelled

From September 24 through November 6, The Biennial was going to show the works of 40 artists from across the globe, centering on the concept of homeland. Since Çanakkale is located on the Dardanelles Strait, just north of the epicenter of the refugee crisis, the Biennial was about to explore the meaning of "homeland" to individuals, and how this concept is bound to nationalism.

In the last two editions, the Biennial has always raised pertinent questions about different topics and this year, according to a press release, was going to examine "the sustainability of ideas of national and ethnic identity in a world whose borders are becoming increasingly accidental and penetrable." The commissioned artists for this year were going to present different works dealing with the concept of home, for example graphic and industrial design, photojournalism, and documentary filmmaking.

The biennial did seek to express the universal idea of being “torn apart” from one’s homeland through the delicate and empathetic works dealing with the issue of migration. Several of the invited artists have a direct connection with the refugee crisis: Iraqi artist Akam Shex Hadi, Turkish artist Ezgi Kilinçaslan, and Iranian artist Ghazel, to name a few. Their works deal with different aspects of being a refugee.

Now the 5th edition of the art festival has been cancelled, due to continuing unrest and instability in the region. At this point, with less than three weeks left to the opening of the Çanakkale Biennial, the organization team expresses its regret over the saying that they “are deeply saddened by the developments within a political agenda that does not place art as a primary point of concern.” Beral Madra, the art director and the co-curator of the biennial since its third edition in 2012, has willingly left her position due to this agenda that is contradictory to the basis of the organization.

Organised by the civil initiative CABININ since 2008, the Çanakkale Biennial has always been unique in its active involvement with public, private and civil formations and in its dialogue with all segments of society. Çanakkale Biennial Initiative will continue to represent the values of the Biennial, but nevertheless the organizers say that they no longer are able to carry out the Biennial according to their values under “these circumstances where art is eclipsed by the developments that exclude it”.

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