On behalf of community:
The intention with the Turkish tea glass lamp is site specific to Dalston Lane, that has a big community of Turkish citizens. But due to the re-generation of the area, cleaning up and evening out the asphalt to welcome new citizens who pay higher rents, due to the huge interest in the new and cooler Dalston/London Fields area. I wanted to give attention to this, in my opinion gentrification. By letting the Turks see themselves in the window display of a newly ‘mushroomed’ gallery in this area.
The people in this area are looking back at us, gallery owners, artists, EU-citizens, café owners who all try to make money out of this area. The funny but also sad thing being that it is the same people knowing the cultural theory behind gentrification, so they are aware that they are doing this. That we are all taking part in the process of ‘killing Dalston’.
I wanted the old Turkish and Kurdish uncles of this area to be able to see themselves one last time, pay them a certain respect for living (read: surviving) in Dalston when it was all dirty, dark and criminal. I wanted to thank them for making it ready for us “money makers” and wanna-be artists.
I wanted them to stop in front of my lamp and see their culture as a part of this area although things are not changing but ahs already changed!
If one dark mustached uncle stops in front of this gallery and wonders and feels like going into a gallery that is soooo different from his world that means that I have done a difference to this area although tiny and ephemeral.
Im sad that areas like Dalston only have a certain time of living and a best before date is long gone..
The work is both an act of using an exoticized everyday object, that anyone can obtain in inner Copenhagen, in North East London or in any other metropol today, in a new way to emancipate it from its exoticized post-colonial position. And give it a new form to save it from being exoticized.
On behalf of girls/women: I always wanted to give a traditional everyday object a new form, literally turning its purpose upside down. Middleastern cultures are known for their hospitality, bringing tea as the first thing whenever someone visits them. I do not want to be hospitable anymore! It feels naïve after having been colonized.
Physically drilling the tea glasses is a picture on the defloration of virginity of Turkish girls to emancipate them from present servicing which are obscured performative acts leading to future marriages. The drillings give rise to an impossible tea serving. The tea cannot be served. The act/the tradition is thus killed.
This photo is a part of a series from 2012, taken by photographer Sebnem Ugural.
The word “Ayip” means shame in Turkish, I take an interest in the gendered shame of Turkish culture.
THE BLACK SHEEP SPEAKS (BACK) IN BROWN
(Explaining my work for the Wall-Project at The Russett Cafe in Hackney Downs:)
Brown is the new black!
This work is on my very early emotions on so-to-say my “second migration” to London.
The words have been written with brown vinyl, as an indicator of my identity of being of migrant background in Denmark. My spoken words are brownish. I talk back. I have a voice!
The work is written with a handwriting font, showing the intimacy level of my diaristic writings as in any letter. This letter is supposed to addres Danes in Denmark mostly but also the ones I meet here. This is the diary I want my parents ( aka the Danish state) to find and read, therefore putting it up for display in a far away parking lot in a different country, in a different city makes a good hide-out. Still Hackney is the new hang-out for Danes and maybe some of them will see this and from the wording understand that I am Danish too and then they might open their eyes and send it to my parents (aka the Danish State) and it can all make a big difference to life in Denmark and I might one day move back…
But the reality is different; I think some Danes and even Swedes did come about and read my/these honest sentences (not so likely understanding)/ seeing my discrete appeal (read:scream), but they got provoked thinking oh my God we thought we were exempt from all these migrant cry outs and here we are all the way in London and we meet it. They should be happy we took them into our country in the 70ies. What’s this girl even doing here?! Maybe all the dialogues are only within me you might think… But they are not I have tried to talk to every Dane I met the fir 3 years into my lifetime in London, but every time they were shocked that this black-haired girl could in fact speak Danish!? What a denial I say, while simultaneously feeling sad that they do not accept me still!
I am sharing the work with the whole community of other migrants and expats in Hackney.
To avoid trouble altogether I do no longer speak Danish when I hear people speaking Danish on the street in my own neighbourhood, as I get too frustrated when they refuse to talk back to me or when they get shocked. Lets never try to educate you Dane lets always try to imagine that people of migrant descendants do not exist. Eventhough I am 41 years old and I was born in Denmark!! Lets just leave you to your own little narrative where you still believe that you are not racist!
THIS IS WHAT IT SAYS ON MY WALL-PIECE:
Travelling the world with immigrant eyes!
Hoping to find a proper place to live. Not because of economic
necessity, but because of existential needs!!
I don’t belong anywhere. Nationality doesn’t give me any peace!
I’m haunted. Borders don’t make me stop nor does cultures!
I belong anywhere and everywhere! I travel the world for inner
peace! I leave one place to miss it right away. The melancholy never
leaves me. We travel together. I am never alone.
I came from another place, though my narrative is not from
there…I know stories that I’ve never lived out myself.
Still I believe that they are my own. These stories are me and at the
same time they are not me. I miss those times as if they were from
I came here alone. I never travelled, but my father’s sperm did. I was
(Then) I chose to create my own stories in new countries. I came here
alone. No one asked me. I didn’t tell. I just left.
Please don’t ask me where I’m from. It will take
me some time to answer you. Don’t say a word
about identity or culture either…My destiny tires
me…I need more time to figure things out.
I come from Denmark, but my hair is Turkish.
Serpil Kirel “Kulturel Calismalar ve Sinema” adli kitabinda Haydarpasa gari Istanbul’un Anadoluyla bulustugu an oluyormus. Ve bu gercegi/baglami Yesilcam filmlerinde simgesel olarak kullaniyorlarmis. Koyden gelen kentlilesme sureci Haydarpasa garinda baslarmis koylu icin dolayisiyla ilk kultur soklari ve “travmasi” orda gerceklesirmis. Ailenin ilk gocu buyukbabamin Ankara uzerinden Istanbul Haydarpasa’dan gecerek almancilik hayatina trenle ilk adimlarini atarak gerceklesmisti. Yillar sonra 1991’de ailemle bu yolculugun tersini yasamistik ‘izine’ trenle giderek. O nedenle Serpil Kirel’in yazdiklarinda hem bir koylunun gerceginin Yesilcam sinemasina yansimasini, hem de ailemin almanci gecmisini dogrulayan birseyle karsilastim. Fakat ayni zamnada benim icin kentden (yani Avrupa’dan) trenle gelip once Istanbul sonra mavi trenle Ankara’ya varmanin ve benim TR’ye Haydarpasa gari’ndan girmemi hatirlatti. Yani o yolculukta kentlesme/almancilasmanin tam tersi yasanmisti benim icin. Yesilcam’da seyrettiklerimizle bu kitaptakiler ayniydi yani, fakat kentlesmenin bir ust basamagi Almanya’ya (yani Avrupa’ya) goctu bu deneyimi ben yasamistim. Istanbul’a geldigimde yasadigim kultur sokunun ve travmayi ben hala unutamamisim, cunku Istanbul’da Haydarpasa Gari cok farkli gelmisti benim icin. En kotusu de bogaz’in cok kirli olmasiydi. vapurla gecerken agladigimi cok iyi hatirliyorum. Tren zaten orient-express gibi biseydi Almanya’ya ulastigimizdan itibaren, elektrigi olmayan ve sadece komurle calisan bir trendi. Trenin kendisi zaten eski usku 2inci dunya savasindan kalma dogu-blogunun slavik harfleriyle suslenmis perdeleri ile karsilamisti bizi trene girdigimizde. Ben hatta korkup binmeyelim bu trene diye aglamistim. Danimarka’dan bindigimiz trenin komforundan cok uzakdi bu taa TR’ye goturecek trenle kiyaslandigi an.
Trenin uzun zamandir kullanilmadi cok kirli olmasindan belliydi zaten, annem hakli olarak nazi-kamplarina gonderilen yahudilerin bindirildigi trenlere ve o yillara benzetmisti durumu. Halbuki biz epey bir para odemistik bu tren yolculugu icin. Kompartmana annem zaten temizlik yaparak baslamisti yolculugumuza. Treni beklerken ki halimiz diger insanlarla ayniydi zaten trenin perona yaklasmasiyla yasadigimiz saskinlik ve sok. Bu bu bu bizim tren olamazdi..
(Ne yazik ki bu tren yolculugundan fotograflarimiz Danimarka’da o yuzden su an bunlari upload edemiyorum yazinin yanisira).