Friday, October 17, 2014

Cancellation/Change of Venue of 6th Hasankeyf Ingathering (VI. Hasankeyf Buluşmasının İptali/Mekanın Değiştirilmesi)

[Türkçe aşağıda]

Hasankeyf Matters regrets to announce the cancellation of the 6th Hasankeyf Ingathering (planned for 24-27 October in Hasankeyf) due to the rapidly changing international situation.

We thank everyone for their interest in and dedication to all that Hasankeyf stands for and invite all of our supporters to conduct local Hasankeyf Ingatherings in their own hometowns. Spread the word about the importance of Hasankeyf, discuss and write about your previous experiences there, and find neighbors who are Hasankeyf natives, and ask them to tell their stories, take photographs, and save these oral histories and images for future generations.

Stay tuned for updates on efforts to archive the intangible culture of this magnificent town.

-- HK Matters team


Hızlı değişen ulusalarası durumlar nedeniyle Hasankeyf Matters VI. Hasankeyf buluşama etkinliğinin (24-27 Ekim 2014) iptalini ilan ediyoruz.

Hasankeyf dostluğuna ve çabalara devam ettiğiniz için herkese teşekkür ediyoruz. Şimdiden hepinizi farklı farklı memletlerinizde Hasankeyf Buluşma etkinlikleri gerçekleştirmeye davet ediyoruz. Hasankeyf'i yaşayayıp tanıtalım. Komşularınızın arasındaki Hasankeyflileri arayınız ve hikayelerini söylemelerini rica ediniz. Hasankeyf'te ve diğer şehirlerde eş zamanda Hasankeyf hakkında sözlü tarihleri kaydedebiliriz, fotoğraf çekeriz ve gelecek kuşaklar için bu görüntüleri ve sözleri muhafız ederiz.

Bu muhteşem şehrin kültürel mirasın belgelennmesi hakkında haberleri almak için bu siteyi takıp ediniz.

-- HK Matters takımı

Thursday, October 2, 2014

6th Hasankeyf Ingathering, 24-27 October 2014


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Cancellation/change of venue of 6th Hasankeyf Ingathering (click link for details)

[Türkçe için önceki yazıya bakınız]

Explore and document Hasankeyf’s past and present, October 24-27, 2014. We invite artists, photographers, journalists, film-makers, craftspeople, musicians, archivists, folklorists, botanists, oral historians and other interested parties to help us build an archive – paintings, sketches, films, photographs, sound recordings, stories, and images reflecting Hasankeyf’s archaeological remains, nature, and intangible culture, giving all stakeholders the opportunity to see the town’s living heritage as a vital component of sustainable economic development in the region.

Please register by sending us an email at hasankeyfmattersATgmailDOT.com (include name, telephone, email, profession, creative interests and expertise with digital media).

Daily activities: October 24-47, 2014
  • Record stories and oral histories: Record your encounters and conversations with shepherds, weavers, tailors, fishermen, gardeners, and others to capture examples of the community’s unique culture and history
  • Contribute to the visual archive: Ample time will be set aside at different times each day, allowing for variety in lighting, to sketch, paint, photograph, record, and pursue other creative activities in a favorite spot
  • Share your expertise: In daily photography workshops, participants will help young photographers with essential techniques, such as lighting, composition, storage and backup
  • Use the Hasankeyf Walking Guide: As you explore, ponder the puzzle of urban technology and town design – gardens, water canals cut into the rock, homes and palaces, public works, urban technology linking a medieval city with its natural environment
  • Bıttım (Pistacia terebinthus), Rasçem orchards, Hasankeyf
  • Relax and reflect: Evenings are for sharing ideas and work, playing music, watching documentaries, and brainstorming


Is there still hope for Hasankeyf?
The schedule for completing the Ilısu Dam has been extended into 2015. However, it remains unclear when – or how high – the waters of the new Ilısu Reservoir will be allowed to rise. In effect, no one knows how much time Hasankeyf has left, because there is no transparent plan for evacuating residents and salvaging select archaeological monuments. We firmly believe that as long as there is life in Hasankeyf, there is hope that a win-win solution can be found that’s good for both Hasankeyf and the Turkish economy.

Is Hasankeyf worth the struggle?
Absolutely, now more than ever.

Hasankeyf, with its magnificent fragments of Seljuk-era monuments, offers an unparalleled venue for Turks, Arabs, Kurds, and others to recall past glories, compare their narratives of the past, and explore the mosaic of cultures, dynasties, and religions. Hasankeyf, one of the first places ever chosen for organized human settlement 12,000 years ago, is still a city where civilizations meet for peace and reconciliation – not to mention tranquility, reflection, and dreams.

Practical information:
Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines fly to Diyarbakır, Mardin, and Batman. Public transportation to Hasankeyf takes 90 minutes (from Batman) and 2-3 hours (from Diyarbakır and Mardin).

Lodging is available at Hasankeyf Hasbahçe. Accommodations include en suite rooms (double, triple or dorm) at the special rate of 60 TL per person (including breakfast) and space in the garden for campers (35 TL per person, including showers and breakfast). Contact Firat Argun, owner, directly at +90.530.929.1527 to make your reservation.

Dress according to local climate and tastes – both men and women should avoid shorts and sleeveless shirts/tank tops, opting instead for comfortable and loose-fitting trousers and shirt tops. Weather conditions can change quickly in late-October. Bring a sweater, jacket (for cold nights), and a raincoat to be on the safe side. Good walking/trekking shoes are an absolute must!

For more information, please contact:
Hasankeyf Matters
English, French, Turkish & Arabic
hasankeyfmattersATgmailDOTcom
http://www.hasankeyfmatters.com

Hasankeyf Hasbahçe
Turkish & Arabic
Firat Argun, owner
+90.530.929.1527

6. Hasankeyf’te Buluşma Etkinliği, 24-27 Ekim 2014

ÖNEMLİ BİR GÜNCELLEŞTİRME: VI. Hasankeyf Buluşmasının iptali/mekanın değiştirilmesi (detaylar için tiklayınız)

[Click here for English]

Hasankeyf’i yaşayalım! Birlikte Hasankeyf’in kültürel mirasını keşfedip kayda geçireceğiz, 24-27 Ekim 2014.

Ressamları, fotoğrafçıları, gazetecileri, belgeselcileri, el sanatçılarını, etnologları, botanik uzmanlarını, sözlü tarihçileri ve ilgilenen herkesi davet ediyoruz. Resimler, eskizler, filmler, fotoğraflar, ses kayıtları, ve hikayeler toplayarak Hasankeyf’in kültürel arşivini geliştirmeye devam edeceğiz. Çünkü bölgenin ekonomik büyümesi için Hasankeyf’in arkeolojik eserlerine, doğasına ve maddi olmayan kültürüne iyice bakarak ve yöresel gelenekler dikkate alınarak sürdürülebilir bir strateji geliştirilebilir.

Katılmak için, lütfen bir mail atınız:
HasankeyfmattersATgmailNOKTAcom
(Mail içinde adınızı, telefon numaranızı, mail adresinizi, mesleğinizi, ve dijital medya ile sanatta uzmanlığınızı/ilgilerinizi yazmanız rica edilir)

Dört gün boyunca (24-27 Ekim) Hasankeyf’te buluşalım diyen katılımcılar için çeşitli faaliyetler düzenlenecek:

  • Şehrin tarihi yapılarını (Zeynel Bey Türbesi, Koç Camii) ve doğal güzelliklerini gezeceğiz.
  • Amca oğulları, teyze kızları, arkadaşlarımız ve misafirlerimizle sohbet edeceğiz, sözlü tarihleri kaydedeceğiz.
  • Çocukların açık hava “atölye”sinde fotoğrafçılık hakkında (ışık, kompozisyon, hafıza ve yedek) ders sağlamak için imkanı olacak.
  • Çeşitli araçlar kullanarak (kara kalem ve renkli resim, fotoğraf, video, ses kaydı vd.) şehrin semtlerini gezip gözlemler yapacağız, arkeolojik kalıntıları göreceğiz, Ra’s Tıbbah tepesinden şehre bakacağız, sokaklarda, bahçelerde, çarşıda karşımıza çıkan insan manzaralarını resimleyeceğiz.
  • Kısaca, Hasankeyf’in geleceğini hayalimizde canlandıracağız.



Hasankeyf için neden çaba göstermeliyiz?
Hasankeyf’in şu günlerde her zamankinden daha çok yardımımıza ihtiyacı var !
İnsanların ilk yerleşik hayat denemelerini yaptıkları zamanlardan beri Hasankeyf ve civarı uygarlığı besleyen bir yer oldu ve bugün de medeniyetlerin buluşma noktası olarak biliniyor. Özellikle, incelenmeyi ve yorumlanmayı bekleyen Selçuklu döneminden kalma çok sayıda eser var.

Kültür ve turizm açısından bakarsak, Hasankeyf eşsiz bir yer ve önemli olanaklar sunuyor. Şehrin çeşitli mimari geleneklere ait yapılarını, sokaklarını, camilerini, kiliselerini gören Arap, Kürt, Türk ve diğer medeniyetlerden insanlar, atalarının neler başarmış olduklarını görerek gurur duyacaklar.

Bu miras nasıl korunabilir?
Bir zamanlar Hasankeyf’in hakimleri olmuş Asurilerin, Perslerin, Romalıların, Hamdanilerin, Artukoğulları’nın, Eyyubi’lerin, Akkoyunlular’ın, Osmanlılar’ın vs. torunları olarak, medeniyetlerin buluşma noktası olan bu kentte ortak kültürel mirasımızı ve paylaştığımız doğal kaynakları birlikte değerlendirmeliyiz.

Hasankeyf bizlere miras kaldı. Düşünce, inanç ve felsefe olarak ne kadar farklı olursak olalım, ortak mirasımıza ve tarihimize vefamızı gösterelim. Gelin dostlar, Hasankeyf’te buluşalım.

PRATİK BİLGİLER
Ulaşım: THY ve Pegasus’un Batman’a, Diyarbakır’a ve Mardin’e uçak seferleri var. Hasankeyf’e toplu taşıma ile ulaşım akşama kadar var. Hasankeyf’e yolculuk, Batman’dan 1,5 saat, Diyarbakır’dan ve Mardin’den 2,5-3,0 saat sürüyor.

Konaklama: Hasankeyf Hasbahçe Pansiyon’da konaklama kişi başı 60 TL (kahvaltı dahil). Bahçede çadırda kalmak isterseniz, kişi başı 35 TL (duş ve kahvaltı dahil). Pansiyonun sahibi Fırat Argun (tel.: +90(530)9291527).

Kıyafet önerileri: Ekim ayında hava sık sık değişebilir. Gündüz hava ılımlı olabilir, ancak geceleri genelde soğuk oluyor. Onun için kazak ve mont tavsiye edilir. Yanınıza yağmurluk almanız da iyi olur. Bölgenin geleneklerine uymak bakımından, hem erkekler hem de kadınlar için uzun kollu gömlek ve uzun pantolon tavsiye edilir.


Daha fazla bilgi için:
Hasankeyf Matters
hasankeyfmattersATgmailNOKTAcom
http://www.hasankeyfmatters.com
(İngilizce, Türkçe, Arapça, Fransızca)

Hasankeyf Hasbahçe
Türkçe, Arapça, Kürtçe konuşulur.
Sahibi: Firat Argun
+90.530.929.1527

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Guest post: Ways of seeing Hasankeyf

"The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe”
--John Berger, Ways of Seeing

When I was a small child, there were some abstract paintings dotted around my parents’ bedroom; brightly coloured acrylics on old bits of scrap board. My father was working long shifts in the shipyards at that time and had to concentrate on providing for our family so never developed his painting beyond this amateur level. However, his attempts to express himself influenced my own creativity and helped to develop a love of visual imagery that still permeates my everyday life.

Encouraging children to develop art and their "creative eye" is a gift that lasts a lifetime. To get pleasure from the simple things in life, such as a pattern made by peeling paint on a door or a sun-kissed leaf, is indeed a gift.

In May this year I was part of a group of artists at the Hasankeyf Ingathering. One main element of this event was to provide art workshops for the local children. Our art studio was a very simple space: a circular discussion area in the garden of the Belediye, which was kindly provided by the mayor.


We decided to make art "stations" so that the children could try a range of different activities. We came armed with rolls of paper, crayons, sequins, scraps of fabric and toilet-roll holders. The children were waiting impatiently as we arrived to set up, running to help us unpack our bags and prepare for the workshops. At first our young artists were so excited that they ran around trying to decide what to do first. Eventually, they settled down to begin work on their mini-projects.


The children were a mixture of ages and abilities so we had tried to keep our ideas simple and accessible for all. Some children made puppets, others produced a colourful Hasankeyf sign.



A small group of children were involved in basic stamping activities and others collaboratively painted a view of their hometown. We adults mingled and helped where needed to ensure that all the children were occupied although most worked independently and were happily engaged in their activity.


The children helped us to attached string to the poles enclosing the "studio" which became our hanging space. Once they realised the string’s use the children were keen to display their artworks as soon as they finished them. At the end of the workshops the children were walking around looking at what they had produced and pointing their work out to friends. Their artwork remained hanging outside throughout the weekend and the children added more pieces to their gallery the following day.


It could be argued that these kinds of community projects do not produce long-term effects and that it is unlikely that any of these children will get the chance to fully develop any artistic bents they may have. I beg to differ on both these points as I believe the world is starting to look different to these children and the world needs more people with vision.

-- Suzanne

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Weekends in the art garden

Over the past two years, Hasankeyf children and volunteers from Hasankeyf Matters have met intermittently for art workshops. These open-air sessions began in the fall of 2012, when Sulyon, an environmentalist performing-arts group from Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, incorporated them into their performance during the 2nd Hasankeyf Ingathering. Thanks to the children’s enthusiasm, the workshops have continued, taking on a life of their own.



Each young artist (or team of artists) starts with a piece of paper, a brush and some color – if pencils or crayons are at hand they may sketch an idea before putting color to paper.


Recurring themes have been houses (with or without parents), the river and bridge in Hasankeyf, mountains, mosques, Zeynel Bey Tomb, helicopters, and even the initials “GS” for Galatasaray. The children mix colors and try new tools – sponges, paper towels, cloth rags, pine cones.



Sometimes the painting evolves and advances with an impressive degree of experimentation, only then to gradually disappear as the paper becomes saturated and begins to dissolve into pulp. What harm can there be in using color with a sense of abandon?






Participation usually varies from 10 to 40 eager young artists, and it can take a few minutes of coaxing to get everyone to spread out where each “team” has room to paint (or make puppets, or prints or whatever new activities the visiting art “coaches” introduce).


There are often so many participants that artists work in teams, sharing brushes, pencils and palettes. When the organizers are too slow to refill palettes, Hasankeyf’s emerging leaders step in to help, which works very well until everyone decides to become a helper.

The workshops take place on weekend afternoons in the garden behind the Hasankeyf Mayor’s office, where they are free of the fixed time and space constraints of a typical classroom. Children understand immediately that future workshops depend on the availability of supplies and an invitation to return to the garden, so they are careful to clean brushes, palettes and paint spills before leaving. Water, soap suds, scrub brushes and towels provide a whole new source of excitement and experimentation.



Time and energy permitting, some of the artists share the story that goes along with their painting. At a recent workshop, an adult commented, “There’s a nice structure in this painting.” Without a moment’s hesitation, the 8-year-old artist explained, “This is a picture of the world. It has this long road. And this is Hasankeyf; it’s hard to see but it’s right here.”

"And this is Hasankeyf; it's hard to see but it's right here."
-- John

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The trails we leave

One of the points commonly thrown about in discussions on the significance of Hasankeyf is that of its continuous habitation, thought to date back many thousands of years. But aside from an impressive role call of past inhabitants and their stone-and-mortar vestiges, why does it matter that these ghostly antecedents were there, in Hasankeyf, and that people are still there now, today?

A little background

Hasankeyf's name may be related to "Kipani," mentioned in texts dating back to the rule of Assyrian king Assurnasipal II in the 9th century BCE. In the first century CE the East Roman historian Procopius refers to it as Ciphas (look here for a general history of Hasankeyf). Evidence of human settlement at Hasankeyf is most easily found in the monuments and artefacts that dot the town, marking the traces left there by Byzantines, Artukids, Ayyubids and so on. Indeed, the diversity of Hasankeyf's archaeological heritage is frequently cited as the chief reason it should be given UNESCO recognition.

Hasaankeyf's 12th century Artukid bridge
On continuity

...But, walking in the hills and canyons surrounding the city last month, another way in which use, habitation, human presence really matters was brought home to me. As literal as it is simple: the trails we leave.

The sides of the canyons are stippled with rock-cut steps, even handholds. As you negotiate them, mapless, the way reveals itself in stone rubbed clear of moss and lichen by the passage of predecessors. Yesterday, last week, last year, last century.

The existence of this anonymous inheritance is entirely dependent on uninterrupted habitation. Take away man and in five years the trails will be blurred by vegetation; in less than 20, almost invisible.

The passage of time
Of course, some of these paths may in any case be erased by a lake and obscured by silt and mud before they have a chance to grow bosky with disuse. But even those remaining high and dry will be left literally so; orphaned, cut off from the flow of people that created and perpetuated them.

In the grand scheme of things, alongside all that stands to be lost if the Ilısu Dam is impounded, this may seem a minor figure in a greater tragedy, but it is one the visitor feels keenly, as she explores Hasankeyf in the footsteps of the millennia.

-- Helen

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sketching a vision for the future of Hasankeyf

Last month’s four-day Hasankeyf Ingathering marked the launch of an archival project to record images, sounds and other aspects of Hasankeyf’s tangible and intangible heritage, with a special emphasis on drawing and painting. Participants sat one morning at Zeydan’s Artuklu Café, some sketching the Rizk Mosque minaret, others focused on the Royal Pavilion or “smaller palace” at the corner of the Citadel. One afternoon we sat next to the minaret of the Süleyman Mosque and Tomb, with the great Koç Mosque in front of us. As we drew, children would gather around and adults would linger to observe: a picture in the making holds such fascination.
Drawing workshop, Artuklu Cafe, Hasankeyf
(Photo: Hasankeyf Matters)

This was the 5th Hasankeyf Ingathering, convened twice yearly since 2012 and drawing participants representing diverse professions: education, visual arts, journalism, advocacy, technology and more. There was ample time to explore Hasankeyf’s historical sites and natural beauty through a combination of hiking and sketching.
Hasankeyf, by Katy Muench

On Saturday, our path circled around “Ra’s Tibbah” (the small mountain that forms the southern wall of the lower city of Hasankeyf), led us to a Shi’i cave mosque, water canals and mills carved into the cliffs, and then continued on to Derike Church, in the shadow of the Citadel. On Sunday morning, we walked upstream to Dera Vadisi, a secluded valley accessible from the bank of the Tigris River through a passageway cut through the rock. Monday’s hike led downstream past the remains of the Syriac Christian village of Atafiye and then uphill to the long-abandoned Mor Aho Monastery, where we enjoyed a spectacular view of the Tigris Valley bounded by the Raman Mountains to the north and the steep slopes of the Tur Abdin Plateau to the south.
Mor Aho, known as "Der Mahar" in Kurdish, sits at the top of
a ravine - "mahar" - which leads down to the Tigris
(Photo: Hasankeyf Matters)
12 Imams Cave Mosque, Zih Canyon
(Photo: Charlotte Roxborough)

At mid-day on Friday, our first day together, we sat quietly in the Salihiyye Gardens, observing an hour of silence in honor of the victims of the Soma mining disaster. Later, we walked behind the Citadel and stopped by the grotto tomb of Şeyh Sevinç, where there is a spring of therapeutic water.

Throughout the long weekend, we shared ideas for attracting more people to Hasankeyf and generating additional contributions to the archival project (e.g., through week-long drawing workshops; developing an “inventory” of sites and activities to capture in different media; geocaching; incorporating yoga and/or other forms of meditation into the program).
Ra's Tibbah, the hill directly behind Hasankeyf, offers
spectacular views of the Citadel.
(Photo: Hasankeyf Matters)

Other suggestions aimed at facilitating interaction between visitors and local residents, both within the scope of the archival effort and beyond, such as:
  • Home-stays and local immersion opportunities focused on cooking, gardening, herding, etc.
  • Community involvement programs through which school groups from other towns and cities are invited to become active in Hasankeyf
  • Extended stays to teach a foreign language or facilitate workshops/coaching sessions on capturing different aspects of life in Hasankeyf (drawing, photography, voice recording, etc.)

A new alternative for introducing Hasankeyf
to global nomads www.geocaching.com 

Our hope is that some of the images and ideas generated by this and subsequent Hasankeyf Ingatherings will serve not only as a record of contemporary life here, but will become:
  • An open-source process through which the people and friends of Hasankeyf can record memories and sketch a vision for the future.
  • An occasion for decision-makers to look again at Hasankeyf and consider anew realistic, substantive and scientifically rigorous approaches to conserving the natural, archaeological and ethnographical heritage of Hasankeyf in balance with the demands of local, regional and national economic development.
It all starts with people taking the time for a closer look at what hangs in the balance.

-- HK Matters team