Murat Germen
Artist, Academic and Archivist
Murat Germen is an artist using photography as an expression and research tool.

His oeuvre focuses on impacts of urbanization and gentrification, civic rights and participatory citizenship, documentary sustainability of local cultures, human devastation of nature.

The development of the district Fikirtepe is a focus of Germen since 15 years (2003-2018). The artist will display the latest developments in Fikirtepe at the Mahalla festival showing its development from a village like settlement to dystopia.

There is a major construction program, being undertaken in the past decade, named “urban transformation” by the ruling government in Turkey. As the transformation moved forward, it turned out this building activity was intended for profit and not for better urban environments. The construction was also a social engineering construct, causing people lose their native homes during the demolition process (dispossession) to make ground for new costlier housing to be bought by the rich. People who have left (or have been forced to leave) suffer from cultural deconstruction, intense feelings of longing for home due to compulsory exile. Urban rights activist David Harvey puts it very well: “A process of displacement and what I call ‘accumulation by dispossession’ lie at the core of urbanization under capitalism.” (Murat Germen)