The exhibition “Bir Mekân, Bir Hikâye/ مكان و حكاية” (a Place and a Story: in English) aims to raise curiosity and knowledge on Syria and Syrian cultural heritage. It is organized within the framework of the Stewards of Cultural Heritage Project (SoCH) of the Istanbul Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). The exhibition uses archival photos from the collections of DAI, the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin and the Max Freiherr von Oppenheim Foundation as well as from private collections. It is intended to show the importance of archival materials, especially in times of conflict as they can play an essential role as a memory trigger and as a starting point for the implementation of various projects to protect cultural heritage.
For the purpose of this exhibition, people from different parts of Syria living in Turkey and elsewhere were interviewed. They were shown photographs and asked to talk about what they remember. In doing so, the archival photographs, mostly documenting monumental structures and cultural heritage sites, were matched with the testimonies of daily lives. By combining the monuments and sites with people’s stories, the exhibition aims to show the devastating impact of the conflicts in Syria on both human life and cultural heritage.