Efe Songun

Istanbul Pride Week Art Exhibition: “Who Would Have Thought/ Nerdeen Nereye”

“Pride and Outbreak” was the first Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week exhibition and was held in 2009 for the remembrance of 40th anniversary of “Stonewall Riots” at Hafriyat.

A year later, in 2010, following the theme of Pride Week, an exhibition was curated with the “Family” concept. The exhibition examined the concept of Family and tried to widen the interpretations that were given to the idea of family.

“Body, Pleasure, Pressure” was the exhibition in 2012 at Cezayir. The exhibition questioned the mass understanding of body and it’s politics.

“Who would have thought” was organized by Metin Akdemir and Efe Songun in 2014 at HAYAKA ARTI and maumau. The exhibition selection committee was composed of Fatih Özgüven, Canan X, Erinç Seymen, and Asena Günal. The exhibition was held between June 24-30, alongside the 22nd Pride week events.


Efe Songun and Metin Akdemir

The exhibition committee stressed that “Who would have thought” be a sustainable project and to be organized alongside the Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week activities and to be able to promote LGBTIQ art and artist, along with allies.

The exhibition will be held on June 22-30th at maumau and Blok Art Space. The Selection Committee was composed of Taner Ceylan, Fatih Özgüven, Canan X, Asena Günal, İlhan Sayın, and Aslı Çetinkaya.

The 2015 “Who would have thought” has not specified a theme and was held open to everyone’s contribution.

The artists this year are: Mandy Niewohner, MK Yurttaş, Kara Pembe Karşı Sanat Kolektifi, Anıl Erdoğan, Şafak Şule Kemancı, Marin Marie, Seçkin Tercan, Ömer Tevfik Erten, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, Hüseyin Rüstemoğlu, Hülya Dolaş, Esra İlbeyli, Sadık Arı, Kemal Özen, Elif KK, Kıvanç Öztüre.

For more information, please see:




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Open Call for 5th Pride Week Exhibition

Seçil Epik, “Ay Resmen Açık Çağrı (Ay, Open Call, Officially!), TimeOut Istanbul, April 2014, http://www.timeoutistanbul.com/gaylezbiyen/makale/3481/Ay-resmen-a%C3%A7%C4%B1k-%C3%A7a%C4%9Fr%C4%B1?fb_action_ids=1545073952386071&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.U2DfbpS63UM.like

As we count down to the 22nd Pride Week festivities, we received an invitation for an exhibition. For  this year’s Pride Week exhibition, first held in 2009,  the title  “Who Would Have Thought” and a concept of multiple exhibits on a particular parade route have been considered.  Seçil Epik spoke with Metin Akdemir and Efe Songun of the exhibition committee about the open invitation and the details of the exhibition.

Before we come to the 5th Pride Week Exhibition, shall we recall  the ones in the previous years?

Metin Akdemir:  The first exhibition was “Uprising and Pride” held in 2009 at Hafriyat to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. As you know, the Stonewall Riots, which broke out following a police raid in New York of a bar called Stonewall Inn, are viewed as the beginning of the open resistance of the LGBT movement. In the exhibition held in 2010,  the theme was “Family” and the works displayed examined and sought to expand the narrow meaning of the concept of Family. The title of the 2012 exhibition was “Oppression, Pleasure and the Body” and it was held in Cezayir. In this exhibition, works on display were concerned with the politics of the body which the system imposes on us.

Last year the Pride Week theme was “Resistance” and it was also influenced by the Gezi events. This year the theme has been decided as “the Big Explosion”.  We are announcing the title here for the first time. How did this title emerge?

MA:  It emerged with the question of “What did the LGBTI movement experience in the past and how, at this point, does it look to the future?” We thought this is the right time to explore this question. What will be the number of people in the parade which had reached 50,000 last year? Has the LGBT movement’s visibility really increased or is it a simulation? Does homophobia in society still exist? Has there really been a big explosion? We want to see all these.