Aykan Safoğlu’s “Revolving Dreams”
              Ulya Soley
              How do personal memories become fragments of a political narrative? How can images guide us back through the past? A double-exposed print-out of private and political histories, Aykan Safoğlu’s installation Revolving Dreams (Athens/Istanbul, May 4-7, 2006) (all works 2020) features a series of images suspended from invisible threads. Pages from the artist’s old passport, superimposed with photographs from his personal archive, are enlarged and printed on two long scrolls which hang from the ceiling like waves. The work takes its cue from the bus journey Safoğlu (who was born in Turkey and now lives in Berlin) made from Istanbul to Athens in 2006, along with two friends and a group of alter-globalization activists, to participate in the fourth European Social Forum. The event—which marked the artist’s first encounter with discussions around immigration and climate crisis—brought together activists, NGOs, refugees, and environmental and anti-racist movements. Safoğlu revisits photographs taken over those few days in order to contemplate what the participants would transmit to a contemporary audience, for whom these issues have only gained in urgency. The work invites us to consider the political shifts in both Turkey and Greece since 2006: the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had only recently come …

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