Freedom for Ocalan Peace in Kurdistan
P.O. Box 100511, D-50445 Koeln
Everything is Art or Art Meets Ocalan
Frankfurt, 21 July 2002
Everything is art and art is political, if we may believe the late
Joseph Beuys from the Dusseldorf Academy of Arts. This also applies
to MANIFESTA 4, the European Biennial of Contemporary Arts, which
with various exhibition venues is hosted in Frankfurt this year.
In the middle of the metropolis upon the river Main a part of Kurdish
reality is under consideration. Gianni Motti, Swiss artist, has
seized Abdullah Ocalans present situation by reproducing the
Kurdish leaders solitary cell as an experience for the European
public. This arrangement may now be viewed on the island in the
river Main. Here, a small strip of land in the river serves as a
synonym for Imrali, the small prison island in the Sea of Marmara,
where Abdullah Ocalan is being kept since his illegal abduction
from Kenya in February 1999. Imrali also symbolises how a problem
is isolated in order to keep the Kurdish question from off the agenda
of the European countries.
Even if Abdullah Ocalans situation is barely perceived by
the European public it is quite present for the Kurdish people.
Still, his personal fate and therefore the question of war and peace
are not yet determined. He is the only prisoner of the fortress
that is Imrali. The restricted conditions of his isolated confinement
have already caused damage to his health.
Abdullah Ocalan has long since been regarded by large parts of
the Kurdish population as the man who brought back hope to the Kurdish
people and restored their lost identity. Despite the death penalty
imposed on him he is committed to working for a peaceful solution
of the Kurdish question even while in prison within his means. So
he produced a historical proposal which would lead to a democratic
solution of the long lasting Turkish-Kurdish bloodshed. Meanwhile,
the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) announced a unilateral ceasefire
and withdrew its armed forces on territory outside Turkey. The PKK
itself by now is history. It disbanded in April. In its place the
Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK) was founded which
also intends to solve the Kurdish question by exclusively political
means. The Ocalan case is still a topic even if his execution has
been postponed for the time being -since Turkey
wishes to wait for the end of the legal proceedings before the European
Court of Human Rights. Turkey still hesitates to completely abolish
capital punishment which therefore continues to be a cause for concern.
The ultra-nationalist MHP being the second largest party of the
coalition government would like to have Abdullah Ocalan hanged.
An execution of the death sentence, however, would make the war
in Turkey flare up again with incalculable consequences for the
whole region. This must not happen.
Art as action
Art is not just a privilege of a small elite which exclusively
present their perception of social realities. Art also will always
be thought-provoking as well as an invitation to act. The aesthetics
of the action itself are brought to appear. We want to follow this
invitation. We call for all enthusiastics of the arts to symbolically
travel to the Imrali in the Main. Let us pay a symbolic
visit to Abdullah Ocalan on the island in the Main and
let us promote a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question. Let
us break his intended isolation symbolically and visit
Simultaneously there will be a picnic on the neighbouring shore
for those who want to take part without going on the water.
Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan Peace in Kurdistan
Date: 21 July 2002
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: On the Main by the bridge Ignaz Bubis Brücke
Organised by: Libertad!, Kurdish Students Association (YXK)
and International Initiative Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan
Peace in Kurdistan
Supported by: medico international, Dritte Welt Haus e.V.