Silivri, the high-security prison for men outside Istanbul, is more than a prison. It is a symbol, not only for the precarious situation of critical thinkers in authoritarian systems, but also for their fighting spirit which is nearly impossible to break. Because thinking continues behind walls as well. Numerous journalists, intellectuals and human rights activists are held in Silivri, which is known as the »largest journalist prison«. The renowned journalist Can Dündar, former editor-in-chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, also served time there.
Living in exile in Berlin, Dündar curates an abstracted, nearly true-to-scale reproduction of a cell – a room 3.94 meters long by 3.71 meters wide, cramped and hostile to life. The cell, designed by Shahrzad Rahmani as a free-standing, transparent object, references more than the individual fate of the occupant. In addition to well-known prisoners such as Ahman Altan, Osman Kavala, Peter Steudtner and Deniz Yücel, countless other intellectuals were, and are, held in cells of this kind. SİLİVRİ. prison of thought confronts visitors with a political reality in which journalists, artists and human rights activists are imprisoned for their work, their art, their words, their thoughts.
»What you see is not merely a prison cell, it is much more a miniature of Turkey, the largest journalist prison in the world« (Can Dündar).
The 5. Berliner Herbstsalon 2021 – 2022 presents stronger still. exhibition – installation – talks, a project encompassing the prison no. 5 exhibition with works by Zehra Doğan, the SİLİVRİ. prison of thought and museum of small things installations, both curated by Can Dündar, and the witness exhibition with works by Timur Çelik.
The opening of stronger still is part of the Allianz Kulturstiftung's Re:Writing the Future festival.
In the series of 5. Berliner Herbstsalon 2021 – 2022.
Funded by the State of Berlin, Hauptstadtkulturfonds within the framework of Re:Writing the Future.