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Reflections from the Women’s Archives

17/03/2022 - 30/04/2022

A photo of The Women’s Library and Information Center Foundation, taken on Periodicals Clean-up Day, Istanbul 2021

Artists: Larissa Araz and Petra Bauer, Şafak Şule Kemancı and Ays Alayat, Özge Açıkkol and Elin Strand Ruin

Reflections from the Women’s Archives brings together works by artists from Turkey and Sweden, and is the culmination of months of artistic research, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration which has the archives of the Women’s Library in Istanbul at its epicenter.

Six artists, three from Sweden and three from Turkey, were invited to a research residency at the Women’s Library, taking on the often difficult task of engaging with an archive as artists. The artists worked in pairs to develop the works in the exhibition, following an intensive period of research and discussion focusing on the history of the women’s movement in Turkey, curatorial research practices and the organization and contents of the archive itself.

The obvious geographical and cultural divides aside, the artists had to find ways to intersect their diverse approaches and personal connection to feminist practice. The resulting exhibition presents three new installations, where affinities amongst the images, letters and newspaper clippings housed in the archive as well as the spaces and communities that surround its building are brought together. The artists address the people whose stories they encountered within and around the archive, corresponding with the past in matters of what and who survives it, and whose reflections can or cannot be derived from it. With attention to the wider implications of the role and intersections of gender, race, class, sexual orientation and disability, Reflections from the Women’s Archives aims to contribute to contemporary practices traversing feminist, artistic and archival work.


Reflections from the Women’s Archives has been developed as a collaboration between the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, the Women’s Library and Information Center Foundation together with Depo and is part of the Equal Spaces project supported by the Swedish Institute.


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