10.10.20 – 22.10.20

Environmental Identities #5: A Thread Between Two Mountains

The Jan van Eyck Academie invites you to join Environmental Identities #5: A Thread Between Two Mountains, from Ararat to Cîlo.

10 – 22 October 2020, Online Screenings available via Vimeo from 10 October
– Weak Enough to Hear: A Deluge in Six Acts (2019) by Pejvak
– Invasive Species (Teaser, 2020) by Savaş Boyraz

22 October 2020, 20:00 - 21:30 (CEST) Conversation 
with Pejvak, Savaş Boyraz and Yektan Türkyilmaz
– Join via Zoom (password: 666)
– or follow a livestream on YouTube

The event commences with two online film screenings by current participants Pejvak and Savaş Boyraz. These works will serve as entry points into a public Conversation that will explore how the land- and soundscapes that lie behind Kurdish and Armenian identities have been shaped by the correlation between the natural environment, colonial military presence, political violence, creeds, myths, and other key-factors. Turkish scholar Yektan Türkyilmaz will give an overview of the complex socio-political history of the region of upper Mesopotamia. Artists Pejvak and Savaş Boyraz will unpack their lived experiences on those mountainous regions, and the research that led to the development of their projects Weak Enough to Hear: A Deluge in Six Acts and Invasive Species, respectively.

is the long-term collaboration between Felix Kalmenson (1987, RU) and Rouzbeh Akhbari (1992, IR). Their film Weak Enough to Hear: A Deluge in Six Acts journeys along the Euphrates River over the span of a day, all the while depicting its surrounding activities. The storyline subtly references the murder of Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali, a 15-year-old boy drowned by British troops in 2003 in one of the tributaries of the Euphrates in Southern Iraq (Shatt Al-Basra) after being accused of looting. His fictional spectre anchors the narrative by raising questions about power manifested by those who control access to the river and land, its resources and history.

Savaş Boyraz (1980, TR)
presents a fragment of his on-going project Invasive Species, which looks at the environmental impact of political conflicts and militarization over a historical natural reserve area in Yuksekova, Hakkari in Southeast Turkey. While the habitat for the local species was vanishing due to the drainage of the wetland, the military presence in the region was intensifying. The animals of the wetland were being replaced by such new species as Cobra Helicopters, Leopard Tanks, F16 Fighting Falcons, among other armed vehicles.

Yektan Türkyilmaz 
received his PhD from Duke University Department of Cultural Anthropology. He taught courses at University of Cyprus, Sabancı, Bilgi, Duke California State Universities addressing the debates around the notions of collective violence, memory making and reconciliation, and politics of music. He is working on his book manuscript based on his dissertation, Rethinking Genocide: Violence and Victimhood in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-1915, that addresses the conflict in Eastern Anatolia in the early 20th century and the memory politics around it. He has been a 2014/15 EUME Fellow and returned as a EUME Fellow for the academic years 2017/18, 2018/19, and 2019/20.

A Thread Between Two Mountains is the fifth event of the Environmental Identities, a series of public conversations, screenings and other online and offline events, which pursue a multi-layered understanding of the co-defining relation between self- and social identity and the natural environment. For more information about the Environmental Identities, its guests, and the previous editions, please read the event brochure.


Image: Atelier Brenda


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