FATMA ÇELİK - BACK TO NATURE

‘Back to Nature‘ focuses on the stories of the Kurdish, Alevi, Chaldean and Assyrians who were forced to migrate from their villages in the 90s in Turkey and now have returned with the aim of conducting agriculture with local seeds, livestock breeding, reforesting burned/destroyed areas and beekeeping. 

According to World Trade Organization data, more than 3,500 villages were evacuated and more than 3 million people were forcibly displaced during the 90s. While these migrations caused radical changes in people's daily lives, the process of separating people from the living areas where they grew up and accelerated the ecological destruction in the east and southeast of Turkey, as well as creating cultural and socioeconomic traumas.

Today, on a global scale, the ecosystem has turned into an object of direct exploitation and the greed for profit maximization has pervaded all life. While the endless consumption cycle created by the capitalist habits in the cities dampens life moment by moment, the psychological damage caused by the war processes, the inability to reach clean food, and the economic difficulties increase the extent of the destruction. On the other hand, meeting many vital needs for urban people has reached an unsustainable level. Access to clean food is a serious problem due to chemical pesticides used in agriculture, the fate of water resources is uncertain, many species are under the threat of extinction, and the damage to the ecosystem is rapidly moving towards irreparable results, while there are those who increase the search for solutions. All this chaotic process has ignited a new migration movement from cities to villages as a solution method.

‘Back to Nature’ is an effort to understand and explain the new spaces of struggle, rooted in the stories of people whose return is based in hope and acumen not only for themselves but for the entire future, with an effort to re-enact their language, culture and existence.