01/10/2019 | Writer: Aslı Alpar

The second session of the workshop in the scope of The International Memory and History Conference discussed possible answers on the question of “How the sexual orientation and gender identities are being included in the practices of memory studies”.

How does memory researches include identities? Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

The International Memory and History Conference organized by Kaos GL Association started on September 27th with the Workshop held in Izmir.

In the second session of the workshop, the question “How the sexual orientation and gender identities are being included in the memory research practices” was discussed.

Archives that do not exist…

Gülay Kayacan, who raised the issue of inclusion in the archiving process, said, "On the military issue, there is an archive in the army. This is a kind of archive that penetrates the private space and a registry of marginalization obviously. But we have to think about what to do with such content if would it be accessible one day."

Yıldız Tar said, "We delete most of the information given by people who applied us for advice on military service related issues after the process is completed. We ask the person which information they do not want to be deleted, and we also publish the parts that we want to be visible in kaosGL.org, and even there is a series of articles on that", explaining how this memory accumulation was made.

Identities, histories…

Seçin Tuncel reminded that associations are being careful to be reliable in archiving and took the discussion to the context of the place. After discussing the differences between lesbian, bisexual women's places and gay male places, the distribution of memory studies over identities were discussed.

Oya Burcu Ersoy explained the differences of identity-based history studies as, "Socialization of female homosexuals at a time when sexuality was difficult to talk about was possible under the theme of 'love and friendship'. I think the areas where gay males used to socialize and our own socialization venues were completely different."

Does memory studies pursue historical facts?

"Studying memory does not mean pursuing historical truth. We need to look at how the perpetrators set up the issue," said Göze Orhon, noting the uniqueness of experiences. Ayşin Zoe Güneş also stated that reality is important even if we do not claim the achievement of truth.

Yildiz Tar said, "For this reason, we started to work on oral history before conducting memory studies. Because everyone's experience is unique. Oral history studies open up such a space. While one person is talking about a place in their life where they feel incredibly free, the same place can be a discriminatory place for another person. It is necessary to protect the narratives of individuals and to ensure pluralism".

The story being told is your story too…

The Workshop prior to The International Memory and History Conference has come to an end. The conference that set off with the call of “Maybe the story that is being told is your story too. Maybe we are tracing something together, maybe we sang songs told stories to leave a trace. With respects to the ones that we walked together, to our separating paths, and to lives that gushes from letters…” continued till September 29.

*Photography: Semih Varol / Kaos GL*Photography: Semih Varol / Kaos GL

**Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz

Tags: arts and culture, life