Merve Caskurlu Belgesay
I was born in Istanbul in 1981. After graduation from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul, I interned in ENSBA in Paris between 2007-2009. Since 2015, I work as a full-time instructor in the Visual Communication Design Department of Yeditepe University in Istanbul. I co-directed various events one of which is the first new media art festival in Turkey, titled “amber’15 Art and Technology Festival”. I received my MA degree from the Visual Communication Design Department, researched the current situation of ‘New Media Art in Turkey’. I am currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Istanbul. I pursue my Ph.D. project at the CCA in San Francisco as a Fulbright Visiting Researcher.
The project we currently conduct is “Sayfiye Records: Memory of the Lost Neighborhood” which focuses on “loss of place”; the memory of a district in Istanbul: “Bagdat Avenue” that has been under a radical transformation process during the last 15 years. This district bearing the identity of a summer resort from the beginning of the 1900s until today has experienced four major periods of transformation which began with the destruction of the traditional mansions and gave way to high rise buildings. Today it came to a point of losing its authentic identity and community. We aim to engage inhabitants of these neighborhoods by showing them what they lost during the urban transformation period and reminding them of their sensory experiences and memories by site-specific projects.