Okulumuz 1989 mezunlarından Bikem Ekberzade'nin "Standing Rock" isimli kitabı Londra merkezli Zed Books'tan gecen ay cikti. istedim, mezunlarimiza duyurabilirseniz cok sevinirim. Kitap; Türkiye'de idefix ve pandora uzerinden temin edilebilir.
As you all know I have been working on forced migration, with families who have been effected due to wars and conflicts in their homelands, searching for relative safety and potential survival in foreign lands. The Refugee Project had a 20 year run, and last year I ended it with Crossings, a multi-lingual, cross-platform intervention, which we performed both in Turkey and overseas, where it was performed/shown in different happenings, from Manifesta in Zurich to Contested Borderscapes in Lesbos, Greece.
Some of you might remember, in my previous book West-end of the Border, while trying to document the phlight of the families from Darfur in camps in Eastern Chad, I had touched base on the origins of their forced migration which ran beyond the mindless violence that was still going on across the border in the homeland. Diminishing resources leading to fighting over seasonal migration routes and the central government taking advantage of disagreements between tribes, politicizing and arming these differences until war and mayhem became inevitable, meanwhile hoping to benefit from further exploitation of underground resources in a land where law does not exist.
West-end of the Border came out in 2010. And in 2016 a massive gathering of tribes in the heart of United States started happening. This was a movement which not only brought together the indigenous peoples of North America, but also brought in environmentalists and ordinary citizens who had had enough of exploitative policies of their governments, bowing low in front of big money, granting companies passage with little regard to how the people along the routes of these projects be affected. Old treaties were conveniently overlooked where Native Tribes were concerned. Justice was often late in coming and individual court cases often were too boring for the news-people to continuously cover, and too long to continue to keep their attention up. So in many instances the stories fell through the cracks. However when people started gathering at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in 2016, and when that massive gathering started spilling over to 2017, with runners heading for the capital, climate activists voicing the struggle in international platforms, it could no longer be ignored..
In Standing Rock I try to do a bit more of what I did in West-end of the Border: I try and dig into the roots of what is happening and how it is allowed to happen today: the centuries long and widely silenced assimilation, dispossession and disappropriation of the native peoples in a country widely regarded as a haven for democracy and a pinnacle for personal freedom..
The Refugee Project aimed at contributing to the collective memory of our society as a whole by keeping individual records of victims of forced migration. In Standing Rock I try and do somewhat the same thing, keep in memory a movement through the personal stories of people who took part in it. I hope, in the long run, the book takes its place in becoming a small piece in our collective human history.
(the book is available in print and digital formats through commercial and independent bookstores both online and instore)