10 November – 2 December 2023
Friday -Saturday, 15-19h

“Bakma” (Don’t look!), was a police announcement that echoed through the squares of Ankara and Istanbul during protests from the mid-90s to the uprising in 2013. bak.ma video archiving collective takes its name from this command, but stands in stark opposition to the ongoing state oppression and censorship that ‘don’t look’ demands of us.

bak.ma started following the massive urban protests in 2013 known as the Gezi Uprising, since then the archive collection has expanded to cover political events and movements in Turkey from the 1960s to today. Its collections implicitly reveals what is missing from the archives in Turkey, where audiovisual archival material belonging to the invisible, silenced, and oppressed parties of dissent has otherwise remained unarchivable.

bak.ma has been in residence at AGIT since May 2023. During this period, they reanimated the archive by curating a series of both old collections and digitising new ones, as well as hosting public events that brought together contributors, users, and allies. By collectively sharing knowledge and memories, the residency has served as a space of empowerment to further radicalise the politics of the collection and expand the possibilities of creating a living memory of social movements.

Don’t look! will relocate the online archival footage of bak.ma to the physical space of AGIT to further develop these connections and encounters. The exhibition showcases key aspects from bak.ma’s archive including newly digitised material of video-activists, as well as older footage from the workers movements in Turkey. 

These photos were taken during the opening of the exhibition