»I do not understand why they throw us into prisons, we come out of them stronger still«, says the Kurdish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan, who had to spend nearly three years in Turkish prisons for one of her critical paintings.
In the last decade, Turkey become an exemplary case in which one could observe how the strategic advances of an authoritarian ideology led to the steady dissolving of institutions and mechanisms in a fragile democracy. After two decades of rule, the AKP has fully evolved into a one-man government and turned the country into an open prison, becoming a top jailor of journalists, targeting and consequently annihilating independent media. Especially after the failed coup attempt in 2016, critical academics, public intellectuals and human rights activists, as well as Kurdish politicians, became victims of the aggressive politics of Erdoğan’s administration and their ultra-nationalist allies. Thousands of people have been either expelled from their jobs or imprisoned. Yet, due to the resilient nature of the resistance, the repression has failed to deliver full control thus far.
stronger still. exhibition – installation – talks is conceived as a project consisting of an exhibition and discursive events that lay out the dynamics of this resistance, the experience of imprisonment and the ways in which the critical voices live through and often come out of this reckless and futile confinement with a reinforced stature.
The 5. Berliner Herbstsalon 2021 – 2022 presents stronger still. exhibition – installation – talks, a project encompassing the prison no. 5 exhibition with works by Zehra Doğan, the SİLİVRİ. prison of thought and museum of small things installations, both curated by Can Dündar, and the witness exhibition with works by Timur Çelik.
stronger still was conceived on the occasion of Re:Writing the Future by Allianz Kulturstiftung
The Berliner Herbstsalon is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.