What I Brought in My Luggage: Relics of Lost Lives
Reception: Fri, Nov 16, 7–8:30pm
People’s lives in Turkey changed dramatically after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Instead of a proper investigation regarding the perpetrators of the coup, the Turkish government quickly engaged in a mass purge of thousands of peaceful and innocent civilians, leading to unemployment, unfair imprisonment, social exclusion, and total defenselessness in the face of State violence and harassment. People from all walks of life were taken aback by the disproportionate response of the government that turned into a collective punishment. Repeated threats were made of totally ripping out all members of social and ethnic communities who were assumed to be enemies of the state. This ensured a mass exodus of people from Turkey. Those who were able to fly from the airport with their passport considered themselves lucky compared to those who had to walk across the border by paying their life savings to human smugglers because their passports had been canceled without any due process. It was only after they landed in safety and freedom that feelings of a lost country crept in, together with the traumatic memories that darkened the beautiful memories of their lives before the coup. The objects displayed in this exhibition are the relics of these lost lives, representing the yearning for a homeland that was abruptly and arbitrarily denied to them simply because of their association with a social group.
This exhibit is presented in collaboration with Emerald Hills Institute, the United Nations Association (UNA-USA) Utah Chapter, and the UN Women Utah Chapter.
Location: Main Library
Contact Information: 801-524-8200