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Nature Notebooks

Anatolian Folk Calendar from Dionysius Festivals to Hıdırellez

July 2023 - July 2024

Nature Notebooks: Anatolian Folk Calendar from Dionysius Festivals to Hıdırellez project is based on a multicultural tradition. Numerous seasonal folkloric drama and festivals exist, including the Karakoncolos ve Harfana festivities which are collective entertainment rituals of Kalandar nights in the Black Sea region, the Cigor holiday celebrated at the end of the second period of winter in Siirt, and the Bocuk festivities celebrated in the coldest nights of the year in Tekirdağ. The “Anatolian Folk Calendar,” also referred to by Anatolians as “according to the old ways” or “the ways of mom and dad,” is the spoken expression of the information obtained and concluded within the context of man’s production-and nature-based labor. As such, it includes abstractions. The project aims to research and compile such practice which still exists in today’s tradition in ritual, drama and mythos forms, and update it, taking local examples into consideration, using pictures, sketches, photographs and video recordings of seasonal periods. Taking its foundations from nature-based labor, such practice sheds light on the multicultural identity of the geography we live in, with its sustainable, participatory and inter-geographically interactive structure.

The research and observation phase will include living with the local folk in the Tepebaşı village of Artvin/Şavşat to observe and get involved in daily practices, whereas the research and compilation phase will include discussions with expert and elderly villagers from neighboring villages and regions on plantation, harvest and collective entertainment cultures regarding seasonal periods.  The tradition will be recorded on paper in two primary books, namely Hizir Days and November Days, and secondary books covering myths, legends and drama regarding seasonal content such as Zemheri, Erbain, Hamsin, Last Autumn, etc.

The project will be carried out based on nature observations in the Artvin / Şavşat region.

As the project will include nature observation records for a period of one year, it will cover a timeframe between July 2023 and July 2024. 

Erdal Demir

Born in Artvin-Şavşat in 1984, Erdal Demir’s work is based on picture creation. On the other hand, he utilizes photographs as a tool of visual expression, working over themes both in form and content. His picture works aim to create instantaneous records of the intellectual and perceptible on paper. With the idea of cleansing his pictures of various tools, he has abandoned canvas, inclining towards on-paper artwork. In his early on-paper works, which he began with the idea of reducing picture tools, he worked with “stains” as an adequate image. His second-phase on-paper work comprises of the “Pictures of Expectance-Oblivion,” based on the existence, meaning and formation of the human, accompanied by literature and philosophy readings. In this series, readings from Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hegel and Heidegger, as well as Maurice Blanchot from literature, define the content of the series. Besides these, his artistic creation and intellectual concerns are shaped by literature and philosophy readings. Oral narrative traditions from literature to music are among other thought traditions he is interested in. Within such context, Nature Notebooks: Anatolian Folk Calendar from Dionysius Festivals to Hıdırellez is the fruition of such interest. Although he is an artist whose origins are from Ankara, the “…Nature Books” project, based on his nature observations and experience of three and a half years, continues in Artvin.

This page is published on 7 December 2023.