Funded by
the European Union

This website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union.
Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Goethe-Institut Istanbul and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.



December 2022 - October 2023

The convergence of agriculture with industry has transformed Çukurova rapidly in the last two centuries. This integration is directly related to the modernization ideals inherited from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic, and the changing economic and political desires. While underlining the ease of controlling settled and domesticated societies, James Scott points to the historical link established by the central administration with settled agriculture. While agriculture domesticates societies, landscape is also taken under control. In Çukurova, the sedentation and Turkification policies are followed by the transformation of the landscape: First the swamps are dried; the construction of water channels is followed by dams, dam lakes and hydroelectric power plants. As the desire for mass production increases and needs increase, the severity of the interventions in the landscape increases too. The Crop project proposes to question these interventions through ecological cycles that spread throughout the process and trigger each other, to study it through the testimonies of human and nonhuman beings, and to consider it together with the climate crisis, food chain and industrial agriculture issues.

The Crop project first proposes a new perspective on the crop concept. From this point of view, the decisions taken for the productivity of the crop, the traces left on the landscape and the urban metabolisms triggered along with them, are considered as crops grown on the same soil. The project aims to establish the connections between the crops in Çukurova, both through literature studies and records, and through field research and meetings. It aims to meet with local producers who produce at different scales in the field to talk about the past, present and future of crops, and to bring studies examining the transformation of Çukurova and the development of crops to the agenda with public presentations. While following the traces left by the development of the agricultural industry, which constantly travels between the urban and the rural, in Çukurova's social memory, the project aims to remember by following the path presented by the selected novels of Yaşar Kemal and Orhan Kemal, and to reach the testimonies of the transformation of the region.

The focus subject of the project concerns not only Çukurova but also different regions of Anatolia. Therefore, it is important for the project to reach a wider audience. For this reason, the material gathered during the field research and meetings will be published interactively throughout the project process. In addition to being a research journal, the published material is aimed to establish a database that reflects the connections revealed by the project and an archive developed through participation.

Ayşe, Asiye, Ayten, Ayşe, Cengiz and Halit pose at the cotton field, 1986, Karaisali Photo by İsmet Aladağ

İsmet works among the pomegranate trees he planted in the field that cottons were growing before, 2015, Karaisalı, Adana. Photo by Dilşad Aladağ

Dilşad Aladağ

Dilşad Aladağ, born in Adana in 1993, studied Architecture (B.Arch) at Istanbul Technical University and Urban Studies (MSc.) at Weimar Bauhaus University as a DAAD scholar. Her creative and critical productions were exhibited on national and international platforms. In the past, she worked with Alexis Şanal (Şanal Arc) and Aslıhan Demirtaş (Khora Office) on spatial design projects. She was also involved in filmmaking as an art director. She has carried out design projects with the Plankton Project, of which she is a co-founder, and curatorial and artistic research practices with Unutma Bahçesi project (The Garden of Forgetfulness) and Hajde! Aladağ focuses on urban and rural landscape, collective memory, personal and social testimonies in her research and exhibition practice. Field trips, archival research, collecting, mapping, narrative building, dialogues and collaborations shape her production process. In her academic studies, she aims to explore the resistance and repair capacity of culture and art practices and narratives in the face of social and environmental problems.


Nöbetçi Kütüphane

Nöbetçi Kütüphane (Library on Duty): It is a new generation social library powered by technology, art and activity. At Nöbetçi Kütüphane, you can study, read, dream and ask for support from the community to make your dreams come true. 

Diagram: “How many seeds can grow in the same soil, how many crops can one seed produce at the same time?” Produced by Dilşad Aladağ within the scope of the Crop Project.

This page is published on 19 January 2023.