Mardin Biennial Postponed

The Third Mardin Biennial that was supposed to open on 17 October on the Syrian border, in the multi-ethnic ancient city of Mardin, Turkey, has just been postponed.

The Mardin Biennial team has released the following statement.

As the team responsible for the organization of the 3rd International Mardin Biennial, we have had one goal in mind, that is to make our own humble contribution to Mesopotamia by organizing a project around the concept of “Mythologies” which would take place in Mardin, an important junction and an area of interaction between Mesopotamia and Anatolia. We sought to do so by blending the shared memory of these two regions with other corners of the world through new artistic syntheses. The timing of this project was rather meaningful. During the period in which we took this task upon ourselves, we were witnessing not only the remapping of territories, but also a time in which the future of peoples was being determined. In order to understand what is meant by this, one does not need to look further than what has recently befallen on the fate of the Yazidis and the Kurdish people in Kobanê, who have been and continue to be ruthlessly attacked.

Yet, we knew from times long past that when some had wrought destruction in Mesopotamia, others had built the Tower of Babylon. When some had crushed other peoples along with their dreams and homes, others were occupied with inventing the writing system and painting mythological figures on the walls of magestic temples. The light continued to survive in these lands despite the forceful and barbaric manner in which the darkness often presented itself. Yet, the light never ceased to stand fearlessly against the dark and always regenerated itself first and foremost through art. Even when no hope was left in sight, the light continued to come into being through art. Bearing this fact in mind, we, as the 3rd International Mardin Biennial team, though that this was the right time to light a candle against darkness in the north of Mesopotamia and the southeast of Anatolia. Our wish was to reiterate our belief that there was still light and that the mythologies were still in existence; that tomorrow could be better and stronger through art.

However, we now hear a cry that is greater than our voices and it comes from Kobanê. Kobanê that stands ever so firmly against the barbarism of its attackers has become the bleeding wound in the hearts of all those who live in this region. We would have liked to carry out the 3rd International Mardin Biennial as originally planned, but we know that in order for the voice of Kobanê to be heard, we need to go quiet and make all necessary efforts for its voice to be heard more. We are not afraid. On the contrary, we are hopeful that Kobanê’s voice will indeed be heard. That is why we have decided to postpone until further notice the 3rd International Mardin Biennial, which was supposed to take place between October 17 and November 17. It will take place in near future for the sufferings which take place right in front us to be seen and heard.

Mardin Cinema Association

Döne Otyam, Ferhat Özgür, Fırat Arapoğlu, Mehmet Baran, Sait Tunç, Mesut Alp, Fikret Atay, Hakan Irmak, Ferhat Satıcı, Hülya Özdemir, Claudia Segura Campins,Canan Budak, Can Bulgu