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Thompson Hall 3rd Floor, Stairwell B

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Şener Özmen

Letter from Şener Özmen, 2014

Text, varied dimensions

The open letter (translated from Turkish by Özge Ersoy) sent by Özmen on October 8th, 2014, addresses the audience of A Public Cycle: How are we? How are you?, a public talk organized by Övül Durmuşoğlu at the Moving Museum in Istanbul. The talk was intended to be a discussion between artist Hito Steyerl, curator Fulya Erdemci, and Özmen on Steyerl’s video “Is the Museum a Battlefield?” Özmen’s trip was cancelled due to protests against an ISIL attack in Kobanê in northwestern Syria, an ongoing battlefield between ISIL and the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The protest left 33 people dead throughout Turkey. Özmen’s letter opens up a discussion about how artists position themselves in institutional structures, and poses a question that Steyerl articulates in her text “Kobanê Is Not Falling,” published as an e-flux announcement on October 10th: What is the task of art in times of emergency?”

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