On Solitude and Water which incorporates works by Hüsamettin Bahçe, Fatma Çelik and Serpil Polat and a joint-project by Aylin Kızıl, Lezgin Kâni and Serdar Bayram was on view at Depo, Istanbul between January 10th-February 9th, 2020. The exhibition which was realized with support from Spaces of Culture and curated by Refik Akyüz and Serdar Darendeliler from GAPO, comprises of four tales on humanity, life and water, an element which forms the essence of what is human and at times serves as companion.

Two of the stories in the exhibit held by members of the NarPhotos collective living in Diyarbakır and its environs, are based on migration, on those who leave/stay, and lives that are set up/left behind – in a sense (rendered) solitary; while the other two elaborate on water, a force shaping the lives of both human beings and nature itself. Migration is a concept that is almost as old as the history of humanity. Falling under its scope are sub-concepts such as displacement, resettlement, belonging, longing, separation, loneliness and adaptation. Water, on the other hand, is a phenomenon that constitutes the very essence of humankind, shaping human life by determining its geography – and also one that humankind is fast consuming with its unbridled greed, seeking to dominate at the detriment of everything depending on it. The water basins treated in the works featured here belong to the Euphrates and Tigris portion in Turkey, a region among the earliest where agriculture was practiced and civilization made colossal strides.

On Solitude and Water was initially put on display in the last days of 2018 as part of the year-end events that hosted the selected projects realized in the first year of Spaces of Culture. This newer version that took place at Depo included expanded presentations of artworks that were in the first round, two talks regarding Turkey’s migration and water politics – which form the backdrop of works shown in the exhibit, and a photography workshop ran by Serra Akcan and Kerem Uzel from the NarPhotos collective.