Refugees Museum: ‘You Went Away, Your Belongings were Left to Us”

Refugees Museum: ‘You Went Away, Your Belongings were Left to Us”

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Click to read the article in Turkish

The exhibition of installations “Refugees Museum” by Yusuf Aslan and Özcan Yurdalan has opened at the F. Özel Arabul Cultural Center (KUAKMER) in Kuşadası town in the western province of Aydın.

The exhibition includes belongings, photographs, sketch maps, texts and other objects that refugees left before taking boats to go to opposite shores on their way to Europe.

Throughout the Syrian war, hundreds of thousands of people who fled their countries to crossed to Europe from the western shores of Turkey, while thousands died in the sea.

The exhibited objects were collected between 2015 and 2019 from the shores of Bodrum, Didim, Kuşadası, Selçuk and Dikili.

The introductory text of the exhibition, titled, “You went away, your belongings were left to us,” says, “This work is dedicated to those whose journey of hope left half-finished in the sea. It is also a salute to those who managed to go to the opposite shores. At the same time, this is a call for the confrontation that invites us to understand them and remind us of our responsibilities.”

“People who were forcefully displaced suffered great pain throughout history. A few years ago, our neighbors who believed they could not stay alive in their homes took to the road with their belongings they could bring, shutting their doors for the last time.

“Anatolia, which has been a land for refugees, emigrants, asylum seekers, immigrants, exchanged refugees, once against faced millions of people coming in waves.

Özcan Yurdalan and Yusuf Aslan

“Some stayed here, beginning a new life with new problems. Those who kept going had to cross the sea. They had to be light, take up a small place on the insufficient boats. They left some of their belongings on the shores. Those who were lucky managed to cross the sea. Some were not able to cross. The sea brought their belongings with their bodies and left them to the shores.”

The exhibition opened on July 30 and will stay open until August 9. (SO/VK)

*Photos: KUAKMER

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