Commanding
Heights

Intro

A research project on territorial dispute, archaeology and the militarisation of public land focusing on the case of the ancient castle of Mardin, which stands on the highest point overlooking the old city. The castle has been closed to the public and transferred to military use for surveillance over the border territories for decades because of its advantageous location. The restoration of the castle and archaeological excavations have been started under dispute, as local authorities asked for the removal of military services and the NATO radar station left over from the cold war era situated in the archaeological site of the castle. The publication aims to bring together negotiations, discourses and imageries on the reconstruction of heritage, the militarisation of the public domain and the production of value within the urban context.

PARTICIPANTS

Sevgi Ortaç

Sevgi Ortaç

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Sevgi Ortaç, born in Istanbul in 1984, is a visual artist living in Istanbul. She studied film and photography in Istanbul and Fine Arts(MFA) at the Dutch Art Institute in the Netherlands. Her work derives from specific localities and long-term engagements and is motivated by the possibilities of collective production, mobilisation and commoning.

She works with photography and video as forms of essay and enjoys printed matter.
In 2010 she produced the books The Monument Upside Down focusing on the ancient city walls of Istanbul and House with a View on the newly constructed mass demonstration area in Yenikapı, Istanbul in 2014. Both publications investigate spatial narratives and conflicts on the production of heritage and current use.
She has been collaborating with architect Aslı Kıyak for the project "Made in Şişhane" on crafts heritage and neighbourhood networks in Istanbul. She initiates multimedia workshops in response to the urgent need for public response and discussion, creating web or paper-based platforms.