Resisting Forest

Resisting Forest, 2019

Pınar Öğrenci

Sinopale 7, “Here and Where / A Politics of Location”
Curator: Aslı Serbest & Mona Mahall

40 wooden sticks collected from women who set up protest against the thermal station and HEPP projects in Gerze and the East Black Sea region; 3 booklets including interviews with women that joined the resistance; sound recorded from collectively hitting the sticks on the floor; video documentation of the interviews.

The Anatolian peninsula has been recently witnessing different minor and major public revolts against the state subsidized private energy projects threatening ecological balance for humans and non-humans in the surrounding areas. For her commissioned work by the 7th Sinop Biennial (2019) on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, Pinar Öğrenci got in touch with the local protagonists who moved against the thermal plant project in Gerze district of Sinop and the hydro-electric power plant in Aslandere village in Rize. In Gerze and Aslandere, farming women stood against state security forces with their everyday tool of wooden sticks and managed to stop the further development of the power station projects in their vicinity. The wooden stick became a symbol of their resistance. For her new work, Öğrenci requested them to share their experience and they agreed to share their sticks to be part of her installation. The noise of these sticks were further disseminated as the artist asked her audience members in Sinopale to repeat the same collective ground hitting gesture in a sound workshop. Resisting Forest, consisting of the interviews accompanied by the sticks and their sound, highlights the potential of these precarious everyday tools as instruments to create noise and visibility for ongoing resistances as well as instruments of self-defense.