Speisekino // BAUSTELLE BOSPORUS I: My Fathers Wings / Walking Tarlabaşı

(c) Nar Film

Screening series curated by Urbanitiez / Orhan Esen (Istanbul/ Berlin)

Many would certainly not be sad, if the Istanbul construction industry was in crisis. The metropolis on the Bosporus still gives the impression of the most active construction site in Europe. The face of the mega-metropolis has changed more in three decades than in three millennia of city history before it. The building mania includes not only gigantic infrastructure projects like the largest airport of the world including motorway ring and a new Bosphorus bridge, the Eurasian highway tunnel as well as the targeted second artificial Bosphorus; but also bulldozing residential areas and rebuilding them, as well as the construction of gigantomanic new housing estates on greenfields are still in progress despite the Lira crisis.

Progress and prosperity is the promise: for many, not much more comes out than displacement from a central location, or more precarious jobs on dangerous construction sites. The irreplaceable destruction of intact natural landscapes, marine ecosystems, and agricultural land and dull new life in mass housing compounds at the outskirts, is the bonus on top. In any case, the city already has a housing vacancy rate of almost 15% and a now catastrophic and still growing deficit in green spaces.It was not without reason that the planned destruction of a parking spot in the center was the reason for the Occupy Gezi, that significant uprising in the summer of 2013.

The Baustelle Bosporus Program within Speisekino /// Food and Footage will provide a glimpse of this unique scene of urban developments with a program of feature films and documentary art videos. The first evening of the series, curated by city researcher Orhan Esen, includes screenings, talks with artists and invited experts.


My Fathers Wings by Kıvanç Sezer (101 min, Turkey, 2016)

Ibrahim is working on the construction site: It's supposed to be a skyscraper with luxury apartments. Payment is not neat but nurtures the family back at home in the kurdish province. The unexpected diagnosis of lung cancer, however, messes up his life: he loses all security, even for the immediate future. As rumors go around that the company is said to have properly compensated the family of an employee who tragically loses his life at the site, he begins to spin dangerous ideas.

Sezer's unexpectedly mature debut film exposes the risks of a system that forces workers to subordinate their lives to the interests of economic development. In a world full of dreams and desires, where the future becomes a lucrative commodity, "The Wings of My Father" testifies to the inner strength of a man who loses his hope for the future.

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Walking Tarlabaşı by Christine Schörkhuber (AUT, 2018)

From 2011 - 2017, the filmmakers spent the year walking the same routes through Tarlabaşı and talking to the people who live there. The Istanbul district is not only characterized by its exciting history and unique socio-cultural dynamics, it is also the scene of one of the most spectacular and equally bizarre building projects in recent urban history. In the middle of one of the poorest districts of the city, a chic residential and office district for the Upper Class should be created by 2017. So far, the high gloss district is only in the catalog while the daily fight for survival, urban space and self-determination takes place outside on the street. A deep look in passing.

(*) Burcu Bakö, architect, PhD candidate for İstanbul in the cinema from a woman's perspective: themes, directors, protagonists

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Entrance is as usual free; meal costs 10 EUR (please make a reservation until Thursday afternoon at speisekino(at)zku-berlin.org).


Speisekino // Food and Footage is part of Shared Cities: Creative Momentum and co-funded by the European Union's Creative Europe Program and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.