HOME STORIES - PUBLIC DIARY PROJECT
Living Across - Spaces of Migration, Curated by Christian Kravagna, x:hibit, Vienna 2010
Home Stories/ Public Diary Project is a series of short videos that was begun in 2008. Deniz Sözen takes everyday occurrences in the streets, transport, and snack bars of London and Vienna and retells them. Through the way in which she narrates and presents these scenes, personal experiences become significant situations in which questions of cultural identity and ascription, cultural translations and misunderstandings play a role in encounters and communication between people. Using various narrators, Sözen tells her own embarrassing or funny-to-absurd experiences in different languages, and also has others tell their own stories of comparable situations.
If the contact zone has been seen as a space of migration in which the negotiation of group interests and diverse ways of life takes place within specific conditions of power, then this adheres to a widespread tendency to see the “majority society” and the “migrants” as the two large blocks within these negotiation parameters. In particular where political rights and opportunities for participation in society are concerned this distinction is definitely justified. Works such as those by Deniz Sözen, however, observe a more complex structure within the contact zone, in which encounters between individuals and groups of different origin and multiple identities are involved in a permanent process of dissolution and reconstruction of what are only apparently clearly defined states of being.
Christian Kravagna: Living Across. Spaces of Migration. Exhibition Catalogue. Vienna, 2010