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Archival Collective Counter-Imagination, Part 2: Set Off [Gitmek] and The Material Aesthetic Research Collective

April 3 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

CHRA is hosting a screening and discussion on Monday, April 3, 5pm, at Weis Cinema, as part of Archival Collective Counter–Imagination, a two-part program curated by art historian and current CHRA Fellow Lara Fresko Madra.

The event will include a screening of Set Off [Gitmek] by Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun of The Material Aesthetic Research Collective [Maddi Estetik Araştırma Kolektifi], with a discussion with director Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun and Lara Fresko Madra.

Set Off [Gitmek] (2019, 60 min.) is a documentary film by Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun, with testimony on how to deal with recording the present in the aftermath of the Suruç bombing which took the life of 33 and injured 103 socialist students who were about to set off to bring humanitarian aid to Rojava in the summer of 2015. The event will also include selections from Material Aesthetic Research Collective’s Media Artifacts of Public Truth project, based on the video archive created by the music producer Şanar Yurdatapan.

Material Aesthetic Research Collective [Maddi Estetik Araştırma Kolektifi] focuses their attention on recovering and redistributing the documentary archives of the 1990s, a moment in Turkey when new moving image technologies were levied against state violence. 

Archives are often thought of in terms of possession belonging to a family, organization, or country. Calls for the decolonization of museums have been leading the charge in envisioning images, objects, and archives as traces of colonial dispossession. Brushing the archive against the grain, it is possible to listen to its absences. 

Archival Collective Counter–Imagination brings together two collective endeavors: The Rojava Film Commune based in northern Syria and the Material Aesthetic Research Collective from Turkey and its diasporas think through archives not only in who they belong to, but also how they generate a sense of belonging. In engaging the moving image as a site of negotiation and building collectivity these endeavors are concerned with how they create and re-create past and future community. This program explores the two group’s modes of social organization around the moving image that cross and, at times, defy the horizon of the nation-state. 

Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun is an artist and filmmaker living and working between Karlsruhe and Istanbul. He is currently an artist in residence at Jan Van Eyck Academy. A member of Material Aesthetic Research Collective and an archival curator at the Open Resource Center at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Büyükcoşkun works with film, photography, sculpture, and performance to think through the agency and the truth-making potentiality of media infrastructures, particularly, political soundscapes.


Lara Fresko Madra holds a PhD in Art History from Cornell University. She comes from an interdisciplinary background with an MA in Comparative Literature from Istanbul Bilgi University and a BA in Cultural Studies from Sabancı University. Lara’s research focuses on contemporary artistic practices that challenge official history and offer alternative ways of relating to the past. Her dissertation, “Historiography and Heterochronic Imagination in Contemporary Art from Turkey (1990-present),” investigates the role of spectrality, speculative fiction, discursivity, photography, and the archive in the artistic practices of four female artists working in Turkey. Lara’s current research tackles the potentials of water as a formal metaphor and an elemental vessel to imagine non-linear and anti-hegemonic forms of historiography. She has worked as a researcher, curator, and writer.


April 3
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Weis Cinema, Bard College
30 Campus Rd, , NY
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504 United States
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