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  7. ANTAKYA: A Heavily Wounded City

ANTAKYA: A Heavily Wounded City

Hatay: 1.–11. September 2023

Curated by Necati Sönmez

With the earthquakes of 6th and 20th of February 2023, Antakya became the center of a huge disaster. In the aftermath of both earthquakes, many parts of the historic city were reduced to rubble. In this tragedy where tens of thousands of people lost their lives and animals died, many historical and cultural heritage sites were either destroyed or damaged to various degrees.

Although almost a year has passed since the earthquake, survivors still face very serious problems such as lack of adequate shelter, nutrition, health care, and unfortunately, as if these issues were not enough to overcome, political pressure and manipulation. Even in the face of this humanitarian disaster, serious allegations of discriminatory policies and attempts to change the demographic structure of the region are emerging. After the screening, the situation of this 'heavily wounded' ancient city and its cultural heritage will be discussed in a talk with  Dr Hakan Mertcan. (NS)

The discussion will be held in Turkish.

Necati Sönmez is a film critic, curator, filmmaker and initiator and programmer of Documentarist İstanbul Documentary Days. He has been active in the earthquake zone since February 2023 coordinating workshops for children and youth.


Hatay: 1-11 Eylül 2023 (Hatay: 1-11 September 2023)
İmre Azem, Turkey 2023, 63 min. Turkish with English subtitles, digital

The screening will be followed by a talk with Dr Hakan Mertcan.

It is early September. Seven months after the February earthquakes, a suffocating cloud of dust hangs over Hatay. As time passes, one can feel the uncertainty attempting to sap the hopes of the local population. In this follow-up documentary, director Imre Azem retraces the path he took in Hatay back in April 2023, turning his camera to what happened, what did not happen, and what should have have happened. (NS)

Dr. Hakan Mertcan is a social scientist and writer. In 2017, he was expelled from his role as assistant professor at Mersin university after signing the "Academics for Peace'' declaration. He is currently a postdoc researcher at Bayreuth University.