a project by Caglar Kimyoncu
COnscription was a multimedia installation, inspired by stories from Turkey exploring the call-up to military service for people who don’t ‘fit the mould’.
Three strangers meet in a military psychiatric ward. Each man has a story; each has his doubts about the others. All are being watched and judged. As they await their fate, they are called individually to see the doctor whose decision will influence the rest of their lives. The pressure builds, fear rises and secrets are revealed.
Will they be exempted on medical grounds? Will they refuse outright? Or will they be forced to serve?
A military hospital room was reconstructed at the exhibition space, where a four-channel film followed their story, placing the visitor in the position of an unseen protagonist, an intrigued spectator or simply a passer-by. Avoiding a judgemental or prescriptive approach, COnscription prompted the viewer to explore the position of an individual within the social system, and what it meant for the two to be at odds.
‘You sit on or beside a bed in a cold bare hospital room. There are matching beds projected on the walls on either side of you. Three men in pyjamas speak to and interact with each other from both sides of the room. Behind you, each patient is being interrogated by a doctor who appears on the fourth wall.
Caglar Kimyoncu’s COnscription is an immersion into the experience of the psychological testing endured by military conscripts in Turkey‘
by Joe McConnell, on Disability Arts Online
‘Conscientious objection is little enough dealt with in mainstream political discourse, let alone as the subject for a gallery installation. So it was encouraging, and probably groundbreaking in a London context, that filmpro made conscientious objection (and, in particular, conscientious objection in Turkey) the subject of a two-week installation at an east London gallery during May, called COnscription.‘
by Albert Beale (Peace Pledge Union), in ‘The Broken Rifle’ by the War Resisters International.
May 2013 at Old Truman Brewery
Part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ‘First Thursdays’: Thursday 2nd May
Alternate screenings included audio description, English captions and Turkish subtitles.
Panel discussions events were British Sign Language interpreted and had speech-to-text provision.
COnscription was the first project in ‘Conscientious Objectors‘, a series of collaborative research-based works coming from countries which use conscription and national service.
The project was supported and endorsed by the War Resisters’ International, a London based organisation that exists to promote nonviolent action against the causes of war, and to support and connect people around the world who refuse to take part in war or the preparation of war.
Further details about COnscription:
COnscription was funded by the Arts Council of England and produced by filmpro ltd
- Completed: May 2013