Halil Altındere

Halil was born in 1971 in Mardin. Lives and works in Istanbul.

Halil Altındere collaborated with Syrian Rapper and activist Abu Hajar for Berlin Biennal video named "Homeland". The video work is closely linked to the wave of pro-democratic uprisings that erupted across Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring, and the violent response of the regimes that forced millions of civilians to flee their country. It is about the perilous journey of refugees to neighboring countries and to Europe in search of a new life. Today the world is witnessing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. This project tackles the current crisis through the songs of Abu Hajar, a Syrian rapper and refugee himself, who is now based in Berlin. It wants to explore the consequences of the migrant crisis by presenting images from both Turkey and Germany. The story of the video is closely connected to the refugee crisis that began in 2011, it aims at making a more focused statement on Abu Hajar’s life and force migration that he faced during the years.
Blending realism and humor, Altındere’s new video “Homeland”(2016), shot in Turkey and Germany, incorporates scenes based on real-life footage to address the crisis engulfing Turkey and the globe. It opens with images of refugees crossing a border through an area peppered with landmines — and performing unusual feats to overcome fences. It is almost impossible to tell what is news footage and what is staged. The video includes scenes from a luxury yoga retreat, highlights the journey through Aegean Sea to Balkans, and gives references to the mythological stories such as Troy and Medusa.

Halil Altındere belongs to a generation of Turkish artists who have substantially shaped the cultural emergence of Turkey in the 1990s. His art explores questions of migration, sub-cultures, identity and gender as well as the influence of contemporary Western art movements on the current creative scene of Turkey. In his new work Altındere, collaborated with a group of refugees, who are based in Canakkale, Turkey. Altındere, asked them to climb on the top of an airplane as a reference to their own forced-dangerous journey as well as a reminder of a middle eastern tradition of train surfing.
Many Syrian refugees have been forced to make the dangerous journey through Mediterranean & Aegean Seas to Europe in pursuit of a better life. Many have lost their lives on this dangerous journey, a few survived. Köfte Airlines is directly and openly criticizing the EU policies on refugees as well as shows hypocritical and nationalist face of the world.
*** Produced with the great support of Canakkale Bienal.

Boxing Bag, Marble Sculpture, 110 x 30 x 30 cm, 2012, Courtesy of the Artist and Agah Uğur.