The 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory invites you to attend a series of commemorative events. Throughout the week of April 20-27, which also marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of the memory site, we will host various events based on Hrant Dink's article "23.5 April." Hrant Dink’s article "23.5 April", which was published in Agos on April 23rd, 1996 is a pendulum between pain and hope, a pledge between the past and future and an invitation to a paradigm shift. 
During this week there will be workshops and events led by Neslihan Koyuncu Bali, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Nesim Ovadya İzrail and Aylin Vartanyan.
Throughout the week, we will also be making and serving helva, a sweet made of semolina which is served during times of mourning as a symbol of togetherness.
Together, let us create a space for remembrance, reflection, and dialogue.
By participating, you will contribute to a collective voice for truth and a future built on understanding.
We look forward to your presence.
Event 1: Memory Board
Throughout the week we will designate a board dedicated to the Armenian lives lost in 1915. We will initiate the board for you by placing the pictures of the intellectuals detained on the eve of April 24th. The rest of the board will be available for you to share your thoughts and feelings and to include the names and photos of your lost ones. 
  • Share your thoughts and feelings: You may contribute with a message on an empty card to be placed on the board, expressing your feelings and reflections on the significance of April 24th.
  • Bring photos you want to share: You can add the names or the photos of the people that you may want to commemorate.
  • Date: At the gathering on Saturday, April 20 at 14:30, the memory board will open to visitors. Visitors will be able to make their additions to the board until April 27.
  • Location: 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
  • Materials: Cards will be provided, or you may bring your own photo
Event 2: Leave Your Mark on Hope
Inspired by artist Sarkis' work "Respiro," we are creating a collaborative art installation that reflects a future filled with hope.

We invite children of all ages to leave their fingerprints in the vibrant colors of the rainbow on a mirror. These colorful fingerprints will symbolize the unique mark each child makes on our world, creating hope for a colorful future.
  • Date: April 20th - April 27th, 2024
  • Location: 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
  • Materials: We will provide all the materials for your colorful fingerprint contribution. 
Event 3: Breathe with Colors - Children’s workshop by Neslihan Koyuncu Bali  
During this event at 23.5 -which is designed as a site of dialogue that opens space for visitors' feelings and thoughts- by producing together we will talk about leaving a mark on the future. The event will take place in light of Sarkis’ art, who also has a permanent installation called ‘Salt and Light’ at 23.5.

At this children’s event to be led by Neslihan Koyuncu Bali on April 20, a wall-mounted mirror will be covered with fingerprints in the colors of the rainbow, as in Sarkis' work at the 15th Venice Biennale, 'Respiro'. During the event, Sarkis' permanent installation at 23.5, 'Salt and Light' will be interpreted with the children. The children will then leave their own fingerprints on the mirror, accompanied by visuals and narratives of Sarkis' other works related to childhood.

The event aims to question the relationship between the first hand print painted on a cave wall -considered the beginning of artistic thought- and the recently discovered 200 thousand year old children's hand and footprints on a cave floor with the act of leaving fingerprints as an artistic expression. On the wall opposite the 24 April commemoration cards, the meaning of leaving a mark on 23.5, memory and a future with children will be interpreted together with Sarkis' works.
  • Date: April 20th 2024 Saturday, 13:00-14:30
  • Location: 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
  • Materials: We will provide all the materials for your colorful fingerprint contribution. 
  • Registration: Please complete the form to register.
  • The workshop is limited to 7 participants ages 11-13.
  • The workshop will be held in Turkish.
Event 4: 23.5 Guided Tour  
The guided tour of the 23.5 Site of Memory focuses on the life and struggle of Hrant Dink and offers a dialogue on the recent history of Turkey in the context of minority rights, human rights and democratization.
  • Dates:
    April 21st, 2024, 15:00 pm
    April 23rd, 2024, 19:00 pm
    April 25th, 2024, 11:00 am (in English)
    April 26th, 2024, 15:00 pm
Event 5: Memory Sites Workshop by Nayat Karaköse
The Memory Sites Workshop presents examples of memory sites, museums and monuments that confront difficult and violent pasts such as genocide, apartheid regime, military coups and wars. Participants explore a range of memory sites, museums, memorials that deal with difficult pasts in different geographies and feature inspiring memorialization projects that are being conducted by a range of organizations.
  • Date: April 22nd 2024, 15:00 
  • Location: 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
  • Registration: Please complete the form to register.
  • The workshop is limited to 20 participants.
  • The duration of the workshop is 2 hours.
  • The workshop will be held in Turkish.
Event 6: “Portrait of the Preceding Day” by artist Hera Büyüktaşçıyan
The workshop, which will be conducted by artist Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, is an internal conversation about witnessing traces accumulated throughout our lives and the objects that keep a record of time, revealing what they remind us of. 

If objects that have accumulated the corpus of hundreds of time periods without our awareness could speak, what would they say? If we were to listen to the words of an object that has been inherited or which has accompanied us since our childhood - or what remains of a lost object in our memories and hearts - what would it reveal to us about the days gone by and our present? As silent witnesses to our lives and recorders of even the moments we have forgotten, with a touch, smell or sound objects have the power to remind us of that which is forgotten and keep us alive.

At this event, Büyüktaşcıyan invites the participants to establish a connection with an object that has spiritual value for them, either inherited from their family or from their childhood, and to make a portrait of these objects or a moment, person or place they remind them of, and to give them a voice and make them speak. Various images, papers, fabrics, text and poetry will be used in the creation of these portraits in the form of collages. Participants will be able to bring along  an image or material that they specifically want to use. All of these portraits will come together at the end of the workshop and their stories will be shared.
  • Date: April 23rd 2024, 16:00
  • Location: 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
  • Materials: All necessary materials will be provided. 
  • Registration: Please complete the form to register.
  • The workshop is limited to 15 participants.
  • The duration of the workshop is 2 hours.
  • Participants of the workshop may participate in the guided tour to follow.
  • The workshop will be held in Turkish.
Event 7: In the Footsteps of April 24 with Nesim Ovadya İzrail and Aylin Vartanyan
In this event moderated by Aylin Vartanyan, Nesim Ovadya İzrail will discuss excerpts from the oral and written archives he shared in his book “April 24, 1915: Istanbul, Çankırı, Ayaş, Ankara”. While this event will shed light on personal stories from oral and written excerpts, it will also be an opportunity to share the stories of those who experienced April 24.

Following the talk, Nesim Ovadya İzrail will give a guided memory walk of Pangaltı during which we will visit the places where Armenian intellectuals Haçik Idareciyan, Sarkis Minasyan, Aram Andonyan, Rupen Sevag, Taniel Varujan, Dikran Sıvacıyan and Gomidas Vartabed lived and hear their stories.
  • Date: April 24th, 2024, 14:00-15:00 (talk), 15:30-16:30 (memory walk)
  • Location: 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
  • Registration: Please complete the form to register to the talk. You can follow the talk via Zoom.
  • Registration: Please complete the form to register to the memory walk.
  • The talk is limited to 40 participants, the guided memory tour is limited to 20 participants.
  • The duration of the talk is 1 hour, the duration of the guided memory walk is 1 hour.
  • The talk and the memory walk will be held in Turkish.
Event 8: A Look at Armenian Culture and History Through Hrant Dink's Office
This workshop, which aims to shed light on Armenian culture and history based on the correlation between the images in Hrant Dink’s room, will be held at the 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory. With the workshop participants, we will be focusing on human stories and narratives about Armenian culture through the portraits, paintings and objects on the walls.
  • Date: April 27th, 2024, 14:00
  • Location: 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
  • Registration: Please complete the form to register.
  • The workshop is limited to 10 participants.
  • The duration of the workshop is 2 hours.
  • The workshop will be held in Turkish.
Hera Büyüktaşcıyan (b.1984 Istanbul) is an artist whose multidisciplinary practice derives from the notion of absence within poetics of space & time in by diving into the depths of narratives that derive from architectural memory and the ruptures in socio-political histories. Büyüktaşcıyan participated in several local and international exhibitions such as:  CIAP Vassiviere (2023); Tate St.Ives(2023); 14th Gwangju Biennale(2023), Tate Modern(2022); New Museum Triennale (2021); 3rd Autostrada Biennale (2021); The British Museum(2020), 2nd Lahore Biennale(2020); 1st Inaugural Toronto Biennale(2019); ifa-Galerie Berlin (2019); Dhaka Art Summit, (2018); EVA International Ireland’s Biennale (2016); 56th Venice Biennale – Armenian Pavilion(2015); SALT Beyoğlu(2015); The Jerusalem Show VII(2014); ARTER(2013).
She received her BA in 2008 and MA in 2015 from Sabancı University, Department of Visual Arts. While continuing her artistic production focusing on photography and installation, she worked as the project coordinator of 23.5 Hrant Dink Memory Site at the Hrant Dink Foundation between 2018 and 2022. In 2022, she was the project coordinator of Mantı Postası, which was published in print and digitally on behalf of the Hrant Dink Foundation at the 17th Istanbul Biennial. She currently writes on culture and art for Agos newspaper and other media outlets.
Born in Jerusalem in 1952, he returned to Istanbul with his family at the age of one. After graduating from Atatürk High School, in 1973 he earned his degree in Civil Engineering  from Istanbul Technical University. He completed his graduate studies at the same institution. He started his engineering and construction career in 1978 and continued until 2008. Since then, he has focused on researching recent history, which has long been an area of interest for him, and has written books and articles. He is currently continuing his research on Ottoman and Turkish Armenian theater history. He is a member and secretary of the Executive Committee of the Vedat Günyol Essay Prize.
After studying political economy and literature at Barnard College and Columbia University, Aylin Vartanyan Dilaver continued her career teaching critical reading and writing at Boğaziçi University School of Foreign Languages. Since the establishment of the  B.Ü. Peace Education Application and Research Center in 2006, she has worked as a trainer, organized seminars and conferences, and participated in curriculum development efforts that blend critical pedagogy with an arts-based perspective. In 2005, she encountered Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed approach. The trainings she received, supported her belief in the crucial role art plays in the context of social transformation. In 2010, she started her doctoral studies in Expressive Arts and Social Change at the European Graduate School in Switzerland and received her CAGS degree. In 2021, she became a member of the Institute of Expressive Arts Istanbul in Istanbul, where she works as an instructor and facilitates workshops.  She continues her work as one of the founding members of Parrhesia Collective, a group of Armenian women academics and artists.