Archive for the ‘resistance’ Category

Hyperallergic has published my update on the threatened hunger strike of cultural workers in Turkey. Thankfully, the government made last-minute concessions and the Association of Culture and Art Workers (Kültür Sanat Emekçileri Derneği) called off the strike. But if the concessions are not realised, the strike is back on, on the 18th of May 2015.

As I note in the article, the resistance (direniş) is ‘organising primarily around the hashtags #arkeologistihdamı (archaeologists’ employment), #sanattarihcilerkadrolarınınpeşinde (in pursuit of positions for art historians), and #arkeologlarvesanattarihcileraçlıkgrevinde (archaeologists and art historians are on hunger strike), though other telling ones are emerging, such as #duyunartıkbugençlerinsesini (hear these youths’ voice now)’.


Hyperallergic have just published my news report on cultural heritage workers’ imminent hunger strike in Turkey. As I explain in the article, if the government does not show any sign of increasing cultural sector employment, at 1pm on the 9th of November, those workers (1) will begin to starve themselves in protest. Next, I’m going to try to explore the connections between archaeologists’ resistance, the Gezi Uprising and the policing of antiquities trafficking.

Word is spreading (update, 30th October 2014)

The Art Media Agency (AMA), artnet news and Arts Journal have picked up the story from Hyperallergic.


1: They are members of the Association of Culture and Art Workers, also known as Culture and Art Workers: the Association of Museum Employees, Archaeologists, Art Historians, Restorers and Visual Artists (Kültür Sanat Emekçileri Derneği (KSED) – Kültür Sanat Emekçileri; Müzeciler, Arkeologlar, Sanat Tarihçiler, Restoratörler ve Görsel Sanatçılar Derneği).

Over on Conflict Antiquities, I’ve put up a note on the (open) question of how to acknowledge and/or protect public sources, who might be persecuted for statements on social media, and who might delete those statements in order to protect themselves. The problem is more one of unfree archaeology, so I’m not entirely sure why it’s over there, but there it is (in both senses).

There has been a call for action for archaeologists’ employment (arkeolog istihdamı için eylem çağrısı). Archaeologists in Turkey will meet outside the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Ankara at 2pm on the 5th of May.

call for action for archaeologists' employment (arkeolog istihdamı için eylem çağrısı)

call for action for archaeologists’ employment (arkeolog istihdamı için eylem çağrısı)

In other news, the Archaeologists’ Union has applied to the Interior Ministry for funding for a Project to Find Ways to Solve the Problem of Employment for Unemployed Archaeologists and to Increase Public Awareness of Our Cultural Heritage (İşsiz Arkeologların İstihdam Sorununa Çözüm Yolları Bulmak ve Toplumda Kültür Varlıklarımızın Farkındalığının Artırılması Projesi).

Ukrainian cultural worker Leonid Liptuga and sculptor Oleg Chernoivanov have built a monument to museum workers who, ‘despite the low wages and low prestige of their profession, remain faithful to their work [які попри низьку заробітну плату і невеликий престиж професії, залишаються вірні своїй справі]’. It is a sculpture of a pyramid born aloft by rats. Archaeologist Yakov Gershkovich has been kind enough to explain that they are ‘wise rats‘, which bear ‘an ancient pyramid of knowledge’, and their young.(1)

Discussing “I am a drop in the ocean”, its co-curator – the Deputy Director of Art Arsenal (Mystetskyi Arsenal), Alisa Lozhkina – regretted that they had not been able to find ‘at least one artist who would support the other side…. The other side had no face.’ Moscow Museum (Музее Москвы) has produced an ‘exhibition of artefacts from Maidan [Выставка артефактов с Майдана]’ that tells the story only from the other side. But its centrepiece, at least, is a most despicable lie.

Vienna’s Künstlerhaus is hosting an exhibition, “I am a drop in the ocean“, which displays protest art ‘inspired by or eerily prescient of the clashes’ in the EuroMaidan revolution. They include the ‘Strike Posters’ that symbolised the movement, the performances of resistance that advanced it – such as the literal holding up of mirrors to the police – and ‘barricades with barbed wire and sandbags’, a model of the trebuchet

The Ukrainian Museum (in New York @UkrMuseum) has extended its temporary exhibition of Posters from EuroMaidan, which presents art from the protests for corruption-free democracy. The displayed posters are catalogued in the exhibition’s brochure (via Mary Beth Griggs (@marybethgriggs) at the Smithsonian Magazine).

Elsewhere, the Ukrainian Museum-Archives (in Cleveland @UMACleveland) has held View from the Maidan, a benefit for the Fund to Aid Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Museum of Canada (in Saskatoon @UkrMuseumCA) has used social media to promote understanding of events.

Once-Ukraine-based museum consultant Linda B. Norris (@lindabnorris), who is part of the ICOM conference/project on Museums, Politics and Power (#museumspolitics)), has been discussing the role of museums in democratic revolutions.

Maidan Self-Defence, the National Centre of Folk Culture Ivan Honchar Museum, the “Tustan” State Historical-Cultural Park and the Cultural Policies Agency NGO have established the Maidan Museum [Музей Майдану], in order ‘to preserve artefacts that show the significant social changes in Ukraine in 2013-2014 [збереження артефактів, які стали свідченням відчутних суспільних зрушень в Україні 2013-2014]’, ‘to preserve the memory of the events that changed Ukraine and to elucidate[?] the values ​​that motivate people who seek change [увічнити пам’ять про події, що змінили Україну і вияскравити цінності мотивації людей, що прагнуть змін]’.