Spaces of Exodus


Non-camp Syrian refugees work in cities across Turkey, most of them with no passport or no registration at all. These non-camp refugees are beginning a temporary new life; they use knives, bend irons and bake pita while they wait for the end of war so that they can go back to their homeland. The project aims to investigate the lively conflict territory and reveal the dwelling types of refugees. Mardin is one of the central bases of the refugees with illegal labour markets, unprecedented residential conditions, social and legal attributes. Refugee camps, abandoned mass housing, warehouses, derelict shops and shared housing comprise their interim dwellings. Attempting to map and visualise the intricate condition of Mardin, the project will be determined by these spatial transformations and speculations on a local scale. The mapping and visual observations as triggers for an understanding of presence, in particular the co-habitation of refugees as workers, political actors, sometimes as relatives of locals, are based on relationships under the kaleidoscopic circumstances of the city.


Eda Soyal

Eda Soyal

Actopolis-City: Mardin

Eda Soyal (Turkey) is teaching as a research assistant at the Architecture Faculty of Artuklu University. She holds a BA in Architecture from Karadeniz Technical University and an MA in Architectural History and Theory from The Bartlett School of Architecture with a scholarship from Turkish Education Ministry. Eda is now a PhD candidate at Artuklu University.

Her master’s studies explore the possibilities and resistance of hybridity as a critical practice through the writings of Homi Bhabha with the samples of the early period of modern Turkey’s urban spaces. She criticises the role of institutional and governmental unilateral literature on the configuration of urban spaces. Eda participated in the “Cities Methodologies” 2013 exhibition at UCL Urban Lab with the project named Object Stories, which traces the everyday habits of an immigrant woman in London. The project was exhibited as a folded comic book and included voice records of dialogues and mapping of the woman’s daily urban network in London.

Eda Soyal has been teaching at a first-year design studio. She has recently begun to examine the idea of the commons, their contemporary relevance as spatial practices and the relation between the commons and public space.
Pelin Tan

Pelin Tan

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Tan trained in sociology and art history. She concluded her PhD on socially engaged art in the urban space (ITU - Istanbul Technical University) and her post-doctorate studies on the methodology of artistic research at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Tan has received several research grants and residencies including DAAD (2006-07), The Japan Foundation (2012), IASPIS curatorial (2008) and Kitakyushu Contemporary Art Inst. (2015). Tan is an Associate Professor at the Architecture Faculty, Mardin Artuklu University. In Spring 2016 she will hold the position of Research Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic, Urban Environment Lab.