Exhibition: Yearning for Turkish


  • St Andrews and Norwich

I will present works created in the frame of my ongoing City in Translation exploration, as part of the TransArtation! exhibition that will be shown from 31 March to 8 April 2017 at The Byre Theatre in St Andrews, and from 12 to 25 April 2017 at The Shoe Factory Social Club in Norwich.

Politik, Yearning for Turkish, Copenhagen, 2015. Photo by Canan Marasligil

Politik, Yearning for Turkish, Copenhagen, 2015. Photo by Canan Marasligil

Yearning for Turkish comes from an ongoing need for exploration. Not only as a search for an identity but more as a tool to understanding the world in different ways. Yearning for Turkish is a journey, and it starts with the first language I have ever learned: Turkish.

Only, the yearning is not solely for that one language; it is a yearning for translation, for multilingualism, and for multiple perspectives. 

When I walk, I observe, I get lost, I find myself in the many human traces left across urban spaces. These include shop or street names, slogans on T-shirts, advertising, graffiti, art works in galleries and in public spaces. Once you start looking for languages all around you, you never experience the spaces you occupy in the same way.

I am a literary translator; I always see the world that surrounds me in multiple languages and in translation. I recognise some of my languages – like Turkish – even in places where it is not meant to be. But just because a word is unintentional, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Through translation, I give such expressions another life, one awakened by my imagination.

I have selected twenty moments for the Yearning for Turkish exhibition, that I have captured between 2012 and 2017, presenting them under seven themes:

  • Political
  • Immigration
  • Empire
  • Resistance
  • Empathy
  • Imagination
  • Common Language

The works will be exhibited from 31 March to 8 April 2017 at The Byre Theatre in St Andrews, and from 12 April to 7 May 2017 at The Shoe Factory Social Club in Norwich.


About City in Translation

Developed and run by Canan Marasligil, City in Translation is a project exploring languages in urban spaces, focusing on individual cities and their specificity with regard to language diversity. Learn more about the methodology and read more stories on the City in Translation website. 


About TransARTation! 

TransARTation! is a touring exhibition that opens up a space for artists, poets, and local communities to explore ideas about translation, movement, migration and art in a variety of ways, including workshops, artists’ talks, interactive installations and multimedia art.

Participating artists:
Kirsteen Anderson, Elise Aru, Heather Connelly, Calvin Crowe, Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Ira Lightman, John London, Canan Marasligil, Samuel Ross, Charles Sandison, Clive Scott, Simon Starling, George Szirtes & Clarissa Upchurch.