Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu

© Photo by Gülbin Eris, 2020

The Visit

Video  40'15''| 2020

The information that Murtaza Elgin's grave was located in Zincirlikuyu Cemetery was in the newspapers of the period, but the exact placement of Elgin's grave was not available on the internet since the state cemetery archives were digitized from 1996 onwards. Leman S. Darıcıoğlu went to the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery and got the location information from the archive: 28th island, grave 479. The fact that the 28th island was full of family cemeteries led Darıcıoğlu to look at the secluded corners, making them think that he could not be buried with families. With the help of the staff who cared for the graves, the artist searched high and low throughout the 28th island and when s̵h̵e̵* finds the grave at the end, they called the archive department and found the grave of Murtaza among the family graves at the entrance of the 28th island with the map they sent: a tombstone with wrapped in weeds, broken and fallen to the ground. A kind of "non-grave". The next step was to re-establish it and leave white lilies and a little sound on its chest.

Murtaza Elgin was the first person diagnosed with HIV in Turkey in 1985. The doctor who diagnosed him also talked to the newspapers and gave them this information to gain fame through it. He was one of the back vocalists of a famous Turkish singer. Since the newspapers published the news that he was infected with his name and his photo, he had been left alone by popular culture people who were his friends until that time. His life had become a matter of public record until he died. He died in 1992. There were only two people at his funeral. The imams who washed his body wrapped his body up with plastics, they put him in a zinc coffin and buried him in a 2.5-meters tomb covered with limestone powder.

The Visit has been commissioned for Istanbul part of EUROPACH's HIV Stories, Living Politics exhibition and added into the digital archive of EUROPACH after the exhibition.