Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum Benuri.org - is the first full scale virtual Gallery/Museum and Research Centre addressing the universal issues of identity and migration through art.
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It includes 40 exhibitions, 150 films, 80 podcasts, 1400 artworks and much more. Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, engaging as benuri.org, is the first full scale virtual museum and research centre. Conceived in 2018 and published within the 2019 Sustainability and Public Benefit Strategic Plan benuri.org was ‘soft’ launched in September 2020. The future is digital - our future is benuri.org

Operating as usual

Explore the life of Fortunino Matania: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on be...
14/02/2021

Explore the life of Fortunino Matania: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on benuri.org.⁠

Photo - Fortunino Matania, 1915 (Public Domain)

#art #portraiture #photograph #italian #culture #modernart #museum #bnw #illustration

Art in Residence is a programme of explorative research underpinning all Ben Uri Arts and Health Institute programming. ...
13/02/2021

Art in Residence is a programme of explorative research underpinning all Ben Uri Arts and Health Institute programming.

Learn more at benuri.org

#art #healthy #gallery #connection #home

Listen to a wide ranging discussion on the purpose, realities and future of museums between Ben Uri’s David Glasser and ...
12/02/2021

Listen to a wide ranging discussion on the purpose, realities and future of museums between Ben Uri’s David Glasser and the distinguished American museum director, thinker and commentator Heidi Zuckerman.

Listen here: https://benuri.org/audioadventures⁠

#podcast #art #conversation #museum #listening

Image: Portrait of Sam Nagley, 1922 by Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)⁠⁠Exhibition: Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)⁠In Kramer’s bold, ...
12/02/2021

Image: Portrait of Sam Nagley, 1922 by Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)⁠

Exhibition: Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)⁠

In Kramer’s bold, modern Portrait of Sam Nagley the artist uses a typically plain black background against which to highlight his sitter’s head giving the work a condensed, graphic quality. The angular modelling of Nagley’s face shows the influence of the Vorticist movement with which Kramer was associated in 1915. Sam Nagley was a doctor and musician in Kramer’s home town of Leeds, where the artist returned after his father’s death in 1916. Nagley’s sister, who married another of the artist’s circle, Dr. Caplan, was also a friend and model of Kramer’s.⁠

Explore more at benuri.org⁠

#JacobKramer #artist #painting #Kramer #portrait #Vorticistmovement #whitechapelboys

11/02/2021

60 Second Insights

#modernart #culture #wolmark #paintings #portrait #nature #polish #modernism

Today our Woman of the Week is Else Meidner: to discover her life, biography, selected exhibitions, public collections, ...
11/02/2021

Today our Woman of the Week is Else Meidner: to discover her life, biography, selected exhibitions, public collections, related books and much more see benuri.org.

Photo: The Jewish Chronicle, 14 October 1949 / Ben Uri Archives

#art #immigrantart #womeninart #womeninarthistory #illustration #portrait

Image: Commemoration, c. 1993 by Julie Held (1958-)Exhibition: Migrations - Masterworks from the Ben Uri CollectionA sec...
10/02/2021

Image: Commemoration, c. 1993 by Julie Held (1958-)

Exhibition: Migrations - Masterworks from the Ben Uri Collection

A second-generation Jewish artist, born to German emigre parents, memory and identity are important concepts in Julie Held's art. Colour is also central to her practice, expressing poignancy and an ongoing preoccupation with the powerful yet fragile cycle of life. The 'Commemoration' of the title is not specified as three generations of women including the artist's aunt and her sister (who regards her own image in a mirror) gather together for a meal.

Discover more at benuri.org

#art #oilpainting #commemoration #colour

Enjoy benuri.org’s Brief Lives!⁠⁠Today we share with you ⁠the story of David Bomberg.⁠⁠Listen here: https://benuri.org/a...
09/02/2021

Enjoy benuri.org’s Brief Lives!⁠

Today we share with you ⁠the story of David Bomberg.⁠

Listen here: https://benuri.org/audioadventures⁠

Image: Ghetto Theatre, 1920 by David Bomberg (1890-1957)

#art #painting # #ghetto #cubism #museum #theatre #historyofart

Image: Mr John Drinkwater Reading, series: Celebrities in Caricature, by Mark Wayner (1888-1980)Exhibition: Mark Gertler...
08/02/2021

Image: Mr John Drinkwater Reading, series: Celebrities in Caricature, by Mark Wayner (1888-1980)

Exhibition: Mark Gertler and the Whitechapel Boys

See more at benuri.org

Part of the series 'Celebrities Today in Caricature: prints by Mark Wayner, 1931-43', this cartoon satirises two well-known poets of the era: (on the left) John Drinkwater (1882-1937) and (on the right) Edith Sitwell (1887-1964): Hampstead resident John Drinkwater was part of Edward Marsh’s Georgian poets’ circle. Possibly prompted by Marsh, in 1915 he visited Mark Gertler’s studio and purchased, for £5, his preparatory Study of heads for his anti-war painting Merry-Go-Round. Edith Sitwell was editor of the poetry anthology 'Wheels' (1916-21), and together with her brothers, Obsert and Sacheverell, a prominent patron and promoter of the arts. The figure in the background has been tentatively identified as Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936).

#caricature #print #lithograoh #MarkWayner

Thank you to all those who attended last week event, Kokoschka: The Untimely Modernist by Professor Rüdiger Görner.If yo...
08/02/2021
Ben Uri presents Oskar Kokoshka in Exile ‘The Untimely Modernist’ by Professor Rüdiger Görner

Thank you to all those who attended last week event, Kokoschka: The Untimely Modernist by Professor Rüdiger Görner.

If you missed out on tickets to this sold out event, you can now watch this lecture and Q&A online!

This is the first instalment of the Ben Uri Research Unit's 2021 lecture series. Stay tuned for further events.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8CMmDYIhwY

Ben Uri Research Unit's first lecture of their 2021 lecture series

Explore the life of Charles Rosner: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on benur...
07/02/2021

Explore the life of Charles Rosner: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on benuri.org.

Photo - Guy Gravett / Estate of Charles Rosner

#artist #portrait #photograph #austrian #culture #modernart #museum #bnw #art

The Holocaust through art: the Ben Uri Collection, for GCSE studies.⁠⁠This resource on The Holocaust Through Art is a va...
06/02/2021

The Holocaust through art: the Ben Uri Collection, for GCSE studies.⁠

This resource on The Holocaust Through Art is a valuable syllabus tool for those studying History, Religious Studies, and Art and Design at GCSE level. ⁠

To learn more see benuri.org.

#historyofart #kunst #arte #university #students #college #collegelife #education #wwii #holocausthistory

Image: The Artist's Parents, c. 1909-10 by Mark Gertler (1891-1939)Exhibition: Mark Gertler and the Whitechapel Boys - P...
05/02/2021

Image: The Artist's Parents, c. 1909-10 by Mark Gertler (1891-1939)

Exhibition: Mark Gertler and the Whitechapel Boys - Paintings from the Luke Gertler Bequest & Selected Important UK Collections

Gertler's touching double-portrait of his parents, created during his student years at the Slade School of Fine Art, demonstrates his understanding of chiaroscuro (the treatment of light and shade in painting and drawing), as he captures not only their likenesses but also their relative positions within the household and his own life; his relationship with his father never fully recovered from their separation during his early childhood after his father left Galicia to seek work in America, before the family was eventually reunited in London, less than a mile from where Mark had been born. Although Louis appears in the foreground of the picture, it is his mother, Golda, with her large capable hand resting upon her husband's shoulder, who dominates the portrait just as she did family life. Her close relationship to her youngest son is illustrated by her strong and recurring presence in his early portraiture.

Learn more at benuri.org

#artist #family #portrait #museum #collection #gallery #painting #illustration

This Thursday our Woman of the Week is Lucia Moholy: to discover her life, biography, selected exhibitions, public colle...
04/02/2021

This Thursday our Woman of the Week is Lucia Moholy: to discover her life, biography, selected exhibitions, public collections, related books and much more see benuri.org.⁠

Photo: Self portrait by Lucia Moholy, c. 1930s (Fair Use)

#art #immigrantart #womeninart #womeninarthistory #illustration #portrait #oilpainting #canvas

Image: Portrait of a Gypsy, c. 1917 by Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)Exhibition: Jacob Kramer in the Ben Uri CollectionThe sit...
03/02/2021

Image: Portrait of a Gypsy, c. 1917 by Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)

Exhibition: Jacob Kramer in the Ben Uri Collection

The sitter in Kramer's 'Portrait of a Gypsy' is his sister, Sarah (who married the artist William Roberts). She recalled starting to sit for her brother when she was thirteen, 'usually done up as a Gypsy girl. He did lots of pastels which were bought as they were done by a firm in Bradford called Matthews and Brooke, and the proceeds from these seemed to keep all of us although they were only about a pound a time. Jacob was easy to sit to and the sittings did not last long; but though so many were produced they are now difficult to find' (Sarah Roberts, 'Memories of Jacob', in 'Jacob Kramer reassessed (London: Ben Uri Gallery, 1984), p. 15). The gypsy motif had been popularised by Augustus John, particularly in his studies of his partner and muse Dorelia McNeill, and expressed a longing for the freedoms of a pre-industrial age.

Discover more at benuri.org

#art #colour #modernart #pastel #chalkart #thearts

Have a break and enjoy benuri.org’s Brief Lives!⁠Today we share with you ⁠the story of Dora Holzhandler.⁠Listen here: ht...
02/02/2021

Have a break and enjoy benuri.org’s Brief Lives!

Today we share with you ⁠the story of Dora Holzhandler.

Listen here: https://benuri.org/audioadventures

Image: My Grandfather in Auschwitz, 1962 by Dora Holzhandler (1928-2015)

#art #oilpainting # #holocaust #history #womanartist #modernart

Explore the life of Boris Anrep: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on benuri.o...
31/01/2021

Explore the life of Boris Anrep: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on benuri.org.

Boris Anrep, courtesy the artrz.ru website

#art #portrait #photograph #russianartist #culture #modernart #museum #bnw

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day we remember artist and survivor Edith Kiss (1905-1966) and her marble sculpture: U...
28/01/2021

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day we remember artist and survivor Edith Kiss (1905-1966) and her marble sculpture: Untitled.

Edith Kiss was born into a Jewish family in Budapest in 1905 and studied art in Budapest and Dusseldorf, establishing a successful prewar career as a sculptor. In 1944 she was deported to Ravensbrück Women’s concentration camp and later to the Daimler Benz factory 60km from Berlin, where, as a forced labourer, she was among 1,000 women employed in aircraft engine manufacture for the Nazis. Kiss and her friend Agnes Bartha eventually escaped a forced march and went into hiding, later making their way back to Budapest. Edith Kiss went on to marry twice and to live and practice her art in Morocco, London and Paris. She committed suicide in 1966. In 2012 a street in Berlin, Edith Kiss Strasse, was renamed in her honour and a commemorative exhibition of her work was held at the Daimler Benz building.

#holocausthistory #history #jewish #memorial #art #holocaustremembranceday #concentrationcamp #wwii #womanartist

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day we remember artist and survivor Shmuel Dresner (1928-2020) and his collage: Pages ...
27/01/2021

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day we remember artist and survivor Shmuel Dresner (1928-2020) and his collage: Pages from the Diary of David Rubinowicz, 2005.

Shmuel Dresner was born into a Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland in 1928. He was twelve years old when he and his family were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. After attempting to escape, he was caught and held as a slave labourer at Buchenwald, and then at Theresienstadt. At the end of the Second World war, with the aid of the Central British Fund for German Jewry and the agreement of the British government, Dresner came to England as a refugee in 1945 as one of 700 child Holocaust survivors, a number of whom - known as 'the Boys' (although the group included girls) were sent to Windermere in the Lake District. Suffering from tuberculosis and malnutrition, he spent four years in a medical sanatorium, where he first began to paint, partly as a form of therapy.
In 1949 he enrolled at London’s Heatherley School of Fine Art, before studying at the Central School of Art in 1953. In 1956 he moved to Paris and attended the André Lhote Academy, all the while searching for a visual ‘language’ in which to respond to his experiences. Dresner exhibited extensively between 1955-1981 including a number of solo exhibitions. His work features in numerous private and public collections in Great Britain, the United States, Germany and Israel. Shmuel Dresner died in London in 2020.

In this work, the artist avoids direct depiction of trauma, but using torn and burnt pages directly references the Burning of the Books authorised by the Nazis in Berlin on 10 May 1933. The subject of this work, David Rubinowicz, was born in Poland in 1927 and began writing a diary around 1940, documenting his experience of persecution as a Jew. His last entry comments on the joy of his reunion with his father, who had been sent to a labour camp. Three and a half months later, Rubinowicz was himself transported to the camp at Treblinka where he perished.

#holocausthistory #history #jewish #holocaustmemorial #secondworldwar #art #holocaustremembranceday #concentrationcamp

Today: benuri.org launches ‘Brief Lives’ podcasts!⁠⁠We are excited to introduce this new Audio Adventure which is design...
26/01/2021

Today: benuri.org launches ‘Brief Lives’ podcasts!⁠

We are excited to introduce this new Audio Adventure which is designed to share with you the lives of many great artists from our collection and make your morning or afternoon break special with 5 minutes of engaging history from our curators.⁠
This first series of Brief Lives begins with the story to date of Frank Auerbach. He was born in Berlin in 1931 and was saved from the Holocaust by his parents who sent him to England in 1939. He is often described as Britain’s leading living artist. ⁠

In the coming weeks, we will share the stories of David Bomberg, Jacob Epstein, Jacob Kramer, Martin Bloch, Dora Holzhandler, Eva Frankfurther, Alfred Wolmark, Ludwig Meidner and our founder Lazar Berson. ⁠
This series partners and complements another new benuri.org initiative of more than forty 60-second Insight videos about important artists in our collection.⁠

Have a break and enjoy benuri.org’s Brief Lives.⁠

Listen here: https://benuri.org/audioadventures/⁠

#frankauerbach #art #gallery #painting #london #sound #podcast

Ben Uri’s David Glasser invited to select his preferences at the London Art Fair See his choices and why https://bit.ly/...
25/01/2021
DAVID GLASSER - London Art Fair

Ben Uri’s David Glasser invited to select his preferences at the London Art Fair

See his choices and why

https://bit.ly/365YuVP

EXECUTIVE CHAIR OF THE TRUSTEES, BEN URI GALLERY AND MUSEUM LIMITED DAVID GLASSER Executive Chair of the Trustees, Ben…Read more DAVID GLASSER ›

Explore the life of Albert Tucker: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on benuri...
24/01/2021

Explore the life of Albert Tucker: biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and more on benuri.org.

Albert Tucker in 1940 (Public Domain)

#art #portrait #photo #australianartist #culture #modernart #artmuseum

This is our Starter Pack for Ways into Art: useful advices on the materials you might need, suppliers and how to set up ...
23/01/2021

This is our Starter Pack for Ways into Art: useful advices on the materials you might need, suppliers and how to set up your room for informal art discussions and a step by step guide to an art making activity inspired by artworks!⁠

Check out our Ben Uri Arts and Health pages to find out more - benuri.org 🖼️⁠

#colourfulart #healthy #art #gallery #museum #make

Image: The Artist's Brother, Harry c. 1911 by Mark Gertler (1891-1939)Exhibition: Mark Gertler and the Whitechapel BoysM...
22/01/2021

Image: The Artist's Brother, Harry c. 1911 by Mark Gertler (1891-1939)

Exhibition: Mark Gertler and the Whitechapel Boys

Mark Gertler was born in a slum lodging house in Spitalfields in 1891, the fifth and youngest child of Austrian-Jewish immigrant parents 'trying their luck' in London. Repatriated to their native Przemysl in Galicia the following year, the family lived on the brink of starvation after the departure of Gertler's father, Louis, to search for work in America until they were reunited in London's East End in 1896, less than a mile from where Mark had been born. Following an unhappy apprenticeship at Clayton and Bell stained-glass makers, and a brief training at the Regent School Polytechnic, Gertler entered the Slade School of Fine Art (1908-11), aided by a loan from the Jewish Education Aid Society - the first and youngest Jewish working-class student of his generation to do so. His spectacular progress - he twice won the Slade scholarship and left with another from the British Institution - encouraged further 'Whitechapel Boys' including David Bomberg, Jacob Kramer and Isaac Rosenberg to follow in his footsteps. He had five solo shows at the Goupil Gallery (1921-6) and was a leading member of the London Group, but tuberculosis, first diagnosed in 1920, confined him to sanatoria in 1925, 1929 and 1936. Despite five further shows at the Leicester Galleries (1932-9), Gertler became an increasingly isolated figure in his last decade, commiting suicide in 1939.

#MarkGertler #WhiteChapelBoys #portrait #oilpainting #art

This Thursday our Woman of the Week is Gerda Svarny: to discover her life, biography, related books, public collections,...
21/01/2021

This Thursday our Woman of the Week is Gerda Svarny: to discover her life, biography, related books, public collections, selected exhibitions and much more see benuri.org.

Photo: Karin Porter, Gerda Svarny © Karin Porter⁠

#art #immigrantart #womeninart #womeninarthistory #illustration #portrait #oilpainting #canvas

Image: Symbols of Passover (The Ram) by Shraga Weil (1918-2009)Exhibition: Czech RoutesShraga Weil was born into a tradi...
20/01/2021

Image: Symbols of Passover (The Ram) by Shraga Weil (1918-2009)

Exhibition: Czech Routes

Shraga Weil was born into a traditional Jewish family in Nitra, Czechoslovakia in 1918; in 1931 the family moved to Bratislava. Weil dropped out of high school and worked in the building industry for two years, afterwards, becoming apprenticed to a local sculptor in Nitra. In 1937, he began studying art in Prague but following the outbreak of the Second World War, was forced to flee and spent the war years in Budapest forging papers for the Hungarian underground. In 1943, Weil was arrested and sent with his wife to a concentration camp, from which he managed to escape in 1944. After the war, Weil designed books for the Hehalutz movement (a Jewish Zionist youth movement that trained young people for agricultural settlement) and in 1948 moved to Israel.

From 1952-53, he studied art in Paris, specializing in printmaking, reliefs and wall murals. His early work was similar in style to the socialist art embraced by the Kibbutz Ha’artzi movement. From the 1960s onwards, he began to incorporate Jewish symbols and iconography into his works. In May-June 1962 Ben Uri held a joint exhibition of the works of Shraga Weil and Melitta Schiffer. He also participated in the 1966 50th Anniversary Exhibition (showing an oil version of The Ram), in an exhibition of graphics by Israeli artists in 1970 and two exhibitions exploring the legacy of Czech artists in Britain in 1998 and 2019 respectively. Weil is best-known for the entrance doors to the Knesset (1996), the entrance door of the President’s House and the ceramic wall on the facade of the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv.

#art #print #lithograph #passover #printmaker #ShragaWeil

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Very good work😍 color and design bravo*Shalom Gustave Alhadeff
how about showing some of mine, in this day age it is a bit difficult showing something with a Jewish theme.
At the Ben Uri on Monday 8 April 6 p.m.
Remembering Cyprus Years 1963-64 The two lifeless bodies which we took out from under the bed the walls riddled with hundreds of bullets the hands of the one still clinging to the bedsprings bloog still bright... When I was in Angola I remembered Cyprus remembering Angola when I think of Cyprus Suffering has no motherland Separation In weary and dark nights my native land whom I defend for whom I shed my blood is now going away slipping from my hands I remember the moment when I wept as I embarked on that old Greek ship I watched from far, far away Limassol, my own, with minarets and bell-towers Immobility of my fingers on cold steel could possibly be something beyond love and humanity I pondered about the infinities whose streets are full of rancours I saw the tearful eyes of those we are conditioned to think as our enemies they looked like us, we looked like them How many times we embraced and waited our death together how many times cold steels turned into a problem why I speak always why don't you speak insensitive as the feelings of the cemetery why did they separate us, our loves though bitter, they were our sensitivity don't walk, I beseech with the tongue with hands with brains even the stones would talk till now if you were not stone DAWN OF AWARENESS 1 An evening when the sun waves to the world in the blindness of the silence people drifting as if attached to the clouds only the extinguished lights of empty ferries, unmanned, drawing nearer painted red and black battleship without moorings, without sails, without algae on the indigo sea only the thief like silence, silence, portals from this world to the next which I see undulating, formless all the way to the ports of Diyarbakır! The lanterns have long since been taken down carried off to far-away places around those necks which the empty noose will necklace The fishermen from yesterday remaining in my mind's eye no rod and hook in their hands the hook and rod have been forbidden it is illegal to carry a rod and hook. The charcoal grill are without fish the drinking houses without Rakı the joyous drunken longings hanging over from yesterday talking in my sleep all the way to Diyarbakır And so, like this, my mind strayed to the foot of Cudi mountain whistling to Ararat wrapping myself in my combat jacket. DAWN OF AWARENESS 2 At that moment that I have wrapped myself in my combat jacket you became a shaft of light in the blindness of the dark turning the night into dawn a blood-red cloud in the indigo sky behind the tears of the children of the murdered by unknown assassins the first warm two tears the women's scarves wet with weeping you became the hope of dead shoots You came to life became the destiny of our frozen love and the heat of our dead life a fire and a hope for our tomorrows, you became the reality the one we knew but to whom we could not shout pinned down helpless in our cowardice from a drop of water you became a wave in the ocean and the flowing from yesterday suddenly stopped You became yellow, yellow, Diyarbakır you became May time, turning green the call of spring ushering in the red poppies you towered before us straight and proud, your verdant shoot became foliage the dewdrop on the leaves yellow, red and green And, unconfined by clouds warning us as clouds as the sun into our silence you brought the morning news and woke Harran and its children DAWN OF AWARENESS 3 You are the thoughts which were repressed when sleep is sweetest you became the cry of joy of the children upon awakening possessing the morning together the silence becoming an ululation. The fresh winds of Newroz the price of freedom bullets and bloodshed We saw so much brutality so many riots, so many tears before Christ, and after Christ between the two rivers. But we were always silent and our friends the mountains were angry with us the Euphrates was angry too Haran too, We were vexed with one another and in the end we were defeated They came on horseback, loveless terrifying masks over their faces creatures of another faith speaking other tongues merciless and brutal their galloping hooves dividing our love their traditions overlaying ours consuming our fruits opposed to our tolerance coming as a groom into our midst. AFTER THE OCCUPATION- DAWN OF AWARENESS 4 WE were nothing thereafter we had never existed anyway! beholding Haran, Cudi and Ararat with delight, abducting our beloved to the mountains and for seven months dressed in white bridal clothes with the shepherds, with the farmers producing a culture those who said it wasn't ours between the two river also saying we had no language. It was not us who mixed the mud with the hay It was not us who planted the trees in trees in this landscape they counted our language as nothing our religion for much we were the root of the tree never to burst into bud a mountain people, a rough unpleasant type, an enemy to women We were not from the East according to us, our homeland was in the North. Our songs sprang from every part of Anatolia our sad songs and yet they considered us as less than nothing trying to deprive us of our richness. And, with you life is full and verdant in the times of Newroz and the children ran away to the mountains the mountains to Diyarbakır so that the Narcissus should not weep in the meadows. In the street, beneath the litter, the cries from the cemetery are toppling the stones and a fallen seed grows green we smile again no longer recognise the suffering from Botan to Haran as our joy ripples outwards. Poems from Yashar Ismailoglu for the Poetry competition
Remembering Cyprus Years 1963-64 The two lifeless bodies which we took out from under the bed the walls riddled with hundreds of bullets the hands of the one still clinging to the bedsprings bloog still bright... When I was in Angola I remembered Cyprus remembering Angola when I think of Cyprus Suffering has no motherland Separation In weary and dark nights my native land whom I defend for whom I shed my blood is now going away slipping from my hands I remember the moment when I wept as I embarked on that old Greek ship I watched from far, far away Limassol, my own, with minarets and bell-towers Immobility of my fingers on cold steel could possibly be something beyond love and humanity I pondered about the infinities whose streets are full of rancours I saw the tearful eyes of those we are conditioned to think as our enemies they looked like us, we looked like them How many times we embraced and waited our death together how many times cold steels turned into a problem why I speak always why don't you speak insensitive as the feelings of the cemetery why did they separate us, our loves though bitter, they were our sensitivity don't walk, I beseech with the tongue with hands with brains even the stones would talk till now if you were not stone DAWN OF AWARENESS 1 An evening when the sun waves to the world in the blindness of the silence people drifting as if attached to the clouds only the extinguished lights of empty ferries, unmanned, drawing nearer painted red and black battleship without moorings, without sails, without algae on the indigo sea only the thief like silence, silence, portals from this world to the next which I see undulating, formless all the way to the ports of Diyarbakır! The lanterns have long since been taken down carried off to far-away places around those necks which the empty noose will necklace The fishermen from yesterday remaining in my mind's eye no rod and hook in their hands the hook and rod have been forbidden it is illegal to carry a rod and hook. The charcoal grill are without fish the drinking houses without Rakı the joyous drunken longings hanging over from yesterday talking in my sleep all the way to Diyarbakır And so, like this, my mind strayed to the foot of Cudi mountain whistling to Ararat wrapping myself in my combat jacket. DAWN OF AWARENESS 2 At that moment that I have wrapped myself in my combat jacket you became a shaft of light in the blindness of the dark turning the night into dawn a blood-red cloud in the indigo sky behind the tears of the children of the murdered by unknown assassins the first warm two tears the women's scarves wet with weeping you became the hope of dead shoots You came to life became the destiny of our frozen love and the heat of our dead life a fire and a hope for our tomorrows, you became the reality the one we knew but to whom we could not shout pinned down helpless in our cowardice from a drop of water you became a wave in the ocean and the flowing from yesterday suddenly stopped You became yellow, yellow, Diyarbakır you became May time, turning green the call of spring ushering in the red poppies you towered before us straight and proud, your verdant shoot became foliage the dewdrop on the leaves yellow, red and green And, unconfined by clouds warning us as clouds as the sun into our silence you brought the morning news and woke Harran and its children DAWN OF AWARENESS 3 You are the thoughts which were repressed when sleep is sweetest you became the cry of joy of the children upon awakening possessing the morning together the silence becoming an ululation. The fresh winds of Newroz the price of freedom bullets and bloodshed We saw so much brutality so many riots, so many tears before Christ, and after Christ between the two rivers. But we were always silent and our friends the mountains were angry with us the Euphrates was angry too Haran too, We were vexed with one another and in the end we were defeated They came on horseback, loveless terrifying masks over their faces creatures of another faith speaking other tongues merciless and brutal their galloping hooves dividing our love their traditions overlaying ours consuming our fruits opposed to our tolerance coming as a groom into our midst. AFTER THE OCCUPATION- DAWN OF AWARENESS 4 WE were nothing thereafter we had never existed anyway! beholding Haran, Cudi and Ararat with delight, abducting our beloved to the mountains and for seven months dressed in white bridal clothes with the shepherds, with the farmers producing a culture those who said it wasn't ours between the two river also saying we had no language. It was not us who mixed the mud with the hay It was not us who planted the trees in trees in this landscape they counted our language as nothing our religion for much we were the root of the tree never to burst into bud a mountain people, a rough unpleasant type, an enemy to women We were not from the East according to us, our homeland was in the North. Our songs sprang from every part of Anatolia our sad songs and yet they considered us as less than nothing trying to deprive us of our richness. And, with you life is full and verdant in the times of Newroz and the children ran away to the mountains the mountains to Diyarbakır so that the Narcissus should not weep in the meadows. In the street, beneath the litter, the cries from the cemetery are toppling the stones and a fallen seed grows green we smile again no longer recognise the suffering from Botan to Haran as our joy ripples outwards. Yashar Ismailoglu 43 Nash Road London N9 0LA These 3 poems are for the Poetry Competition. Please submit them on my behalf Thank you