Anzac Day – and the Australian defeat at Gallipoli – has become a cornerstone of Australia’s national history, helping to shape our identity and our character. But what does the Battle of Gallipoli mean to the Turkish people? What’s their perspective on the battle, and what place does it hold in their history?
Ahead of the centenary Anzac Day, the City of Melbourne has worked with the Turkish Australian community to create Gelibolu – a contemporary arts exhibition that portrays the Turkish Australian perspective, inspired and guided by 16 interviews across that community.
In discussion with Cigdem Aydemir, Bulent Dellal OAM, Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios and Serpil Senelmis, we’ll explore key themes of the exhibition: what Anzac Day means, along with ideas of history-making, losses, legends and political propaganda.
Cigdem Aydemir is an Australian Muslim artist with Turkish heritage. Her interdisciplinary art practice incorporates installation, performance and video. She explores the convergence of gender, religious and cultural identities including themes of body politics and intersectionality. Much of her work interrogates the void between body and dress as well as its social and political implications.
Serpil Senelmis is an Australian broadcaster with Turkish heritage. The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduate has worked behind the microphone, in front of the camera and behind the scenes of radio and television programs across Australia.
Bulent Dellal OAM is the Executive Director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the SBS Board of Directors. He has over 25 years’ experience in policy, management, community development and programming for cultural diversity.
Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios is a lecturer in the Arts and Cultural Management and Art History programs at the University of Melbourne, where she researches and publishes in the areas of cultural economics and arts marketing. She also writes for a general audience; she co-wrote the historical novel, The Water Diviner, which was released by Pan MacMillan in December 2014, based on the script for the film of the same name starring Russell Crowe.