Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum The most comprehensive and important collection of works by late 19th, 20th and 21st Century immigrant artists in the United Kingdom and the international museum sector.
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Addressing the universal issues of identity and migration through the visual arts. Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, founded in July 1915 in Whitechapel, East London, is dedicated to positive engagement with the widest public at large. We actively partner museums and community groups to engage and partner audiences, both young and old - near and far, in exploring contemporary issues through art. The Ben Uri Collection is internationally recognised and encompasses over 1300 works, principally from the start of the 20th century, by some 385 artists originating from 35 different countries including Chagall, Liebermann, Pissarro, Soutine, Ury alongside Auerbach, Bomberg, Epstein, Gertler, Kitaj, Kossoff, Solomon and Wolmark. Access to the collection is provided through exhibitions including touring, collection loans, publications, academic and public presentations, nationwide learning programmes, social health and extensively through the internet. Ben Uri present 4 major exhibitions a year - see web for details.

Operating as usual

Image: 'Self-portrait' 1914, by William Rothenstein (1872-1945)⁠⁠Self-Portraits from the Ben Uri Collection ⁠William Rot...
05/09/2020

Image: 'Self-portrait' 1914, by William Rothenstein (1872-1945)⁠

Self-Portraits from the Ben Uri Collection ⁠

William Rothenstein was born in Bradford in 1872 into an assimilated German-Jewish family. In 1888, at the age of sixteen, he attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London, but, upon the advice of Jewish Royal Academician Solomon J Solomon, completed his studies in Paris (1889-92), exhibiting in the city (1892) and making a lasting contact with Edgar Degas. Upon his return he exhibited with the New English Art Club and in 1898 co-founded the Carfax Gallery. Between 1903 and 1906 he carried out an important series of works on Jewish subjects, observed in the East End of London.⁠

See more of this exhibition here: https://benuri.org/exhibitions/43-self-portraits-from-the-ben-uri-collection/works/⁠

Learn more about this artist here: https://www.benuricollection.org.uk/intermediate.php?artistid=140⁠

#selfportrait #drawing #art #jewishart #williamrothenstein

Image: 'Notes Towards a Self Portrait: Check Shirt' 2011, Alfred Harris b.1930, © Alfred HarrisAlfred Harris was born in...
04/09/2020

Image: 'Notes Towards a Self Portrait: Check Shirt' 2011, Alfred Harris b.1930, © Alfred Harris

Alfred Harris was born into a Jewish family in London in 1930 and trained at Willesden School of Art, then at the Royal College of Art (1952–55), alongside contemporaries including Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff.... His ongoing series of searching self-portrait ‘studies’, including both paintings and drawings, has been at the centre of his practice for the last twelve years.

Learn more about this artist here: https://www.benuricollection.org.uk/intermediate.php?artistid=18

#charcoal #painting #selfportrait #BenUriGallery #art #jewishart

Image: 'Self-Portrait' c. 1980, by Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz (1904-2004⁠), © Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz estate⁠Self-Portr...
02/09/2020

Image: 'Self-Portrait' c. 1980, by Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz (1904-2004⁠), © Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz estate

Self-Portraits in the Ben Uri Collection ⁠

Initially trained as a sculptor, Liebert-Mahrenholz took up painting and drawing during the second part of her career, following her release from wartime internment. This striking self-portrait, painted in her late seventies, with its dynamic vertical slashes of paint, shows her strength of character and draws on the legacy of German Expressionism. Another version of this portrait is in the Ruth Borchard Collection.⁠

Learn more about this artist here: https://www.benuricollection.org.uk/intermediate.php?artistid=70⁠

#art #selfportrait #acrylicpainting #BenUriGallery #jewishart #femaleartist

Image: 'Man in the Mirror, Self-Portrait', by Maurice Mancini Roith (1900-1958)⁠© Maurice Mancini Roith estate⁠⁠Self-Por...
01/09/2020

Image: 'Man in the Mirror, Self-Portrait', by Maurice Mancini Roith (1900-1958)⁠
© Maurice Mancini Roith estate⁠

Self-Portraits from the Ben Uri Collection ⁠
See more of this exhibition here: https://benuri.org/exhibitions/43-self-portraits-from-the-ben-uri-collection/works/⁠

See more from this artist here: https://www.benuricollection.org.uk/intermediate.php?artistid=131⁠

Maurice Mancini Roith was born in Brest-Litovsk, Poland but raised in London. He worked as a scene painter at Covent Garden Opera House while studying part-time at the Westminster School of Art under Walter Sickert and Bernard Meninsky, afterwards dividing his time between business and painting. A nude by Maurice Mancini Roith was exhibited at Ben Uri's 1946 exhibition "Paintings and Sculpture by Contemporary Jewish Artists". Mancini Roith died in London in 1958 and an exhibition of his work, organised by Ben Uri, was held aboard the "Tattershall Castle" on the Thames in 1979.⁠

#art #selfportrait #oilpainting #BenUriGallery #jewishart #MauriceManciniRoith

25/08/2020

Part 2- Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain 🎥

This timely exhibition which coincides with the date of Indian Independence (declared at midnight on 15 August 1947) addresses the representation of Indian immigrant artists (bothfirst and second generation) working in Britain for more than 70 years. Co-curated by Rachel Dickson and Shanti PanchalAcademic advisor: Dr Zehra Jumabhoy, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Head to our website to see more 60 Second Insights at benuri.org!#exhibition #online #india #happy #summer #southasianart #watercolor #portrait #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #ImperialSubjects #fnsouza #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter

25/08/2020

A preview of Part 2- Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain 🎥

Head to our IGTV tab to watch the full 60 Second Insight. Part 1 is also there incase you missed it.

This timely exhibition which coincides with the date of Indian Independence (declared at midnight on 15 August 1947) addresses the representation of Indian immigrant artists (bothfirst and second generation) working in Britain for more than 70 years. Co-curated by Rachel Dickson and Shanti PanchalAcademic advisor: Dr Zehra Jumabhoy, Courtauld Institute of Art, London#exhibition #online #india #happy #summer #southasianart #watercolor #portrait #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #ImperialSubjects #fnsouza #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter

Image: ‘Eat me now’ (2013), by Chila Burman (b. 1957, Bootle, Liverpool, UK - presently based in London, UK)Image courte...
24/08/2020

Image: ‘Eat me now’ (2013), by Chila Burman (b. 1957, Bootle, Liverpool, UK - presently based in London, UK)
Image courtesy the artist
© Chila Kumari Singh Burman

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online exhibition at benuri.org.

Burman represents the generation of Indian and other diasporic artists whose artworks confront their everyday lives. A giant, glittery ice-cream cone – appropriate for our recent heatwave - is a reminder of her childhood: she worked with her Indian-born father in his ice cream van, immersed in a world of colour, flavour, texture and aroma. She has gilded her outsize cone with elements referencing her ‘Indianness’: bindis (Indian decorative stickers), sequins, cut-out emblems and Hindu deities, and henna art, creating a dazzling whole.

#chilaburman #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #icecream #colorful #indian #india #greatbritain

Image: ‘Shishir’ (2014-2015), by Dhruva Mistry (b. 1957, Gujarat, India - presently based in India)Courtesy The Artist a...
21/08/2020

Image: ‘Shishir’ (2014-2015), by Dhruva Mistry (b. 1957, Gujarat, India - presently based in India)
Courtesy The Artist and Grosvenor Gallery
© The Artist

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online exhibition at benuri.org.

Mistry’s sculpture Shishir sits astride two cultures - exploring Indian classical forms (the posture) and the language of European Modernism (its Cubist-influenced style). From a group of small steel sculptures that marked a transition in Mistry’s oeuvre after a debilitating stroke, he found new materials and techniques via AutoCAD, breaking 3D forms into flat steel planes. In our COVID-19 world, this sculpture reminds us how we can repurpose failures as new opportunities and can see things anew with a different perspective.

#DhruvaMistry #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #colorful #indian #india #greatbritain

20/08/2020

Part 1 - Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain 🎥

This timely exhibition which coincides with the date of Indian Independence (declared at midnight on 15 August 1947) addresses the representation of Indian immigrant artists (bothfirst and second generation) working in Britain for more than 70 years. Co-curated by Rachel Dickson and Shanti PanchalAcademic advisor: Dr Zehra Jumabhoy, Courtauld Institute of Art, London#exhibition #online #india #happy #summer #southasianart #watercolor #portrait #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #ImperialSubjects #fnsouza #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter

Image: ‘Marsyas’ (2002), by Anish Kapoor (1954, Mumbai, India - presently based in London, UK) Tate Photography© Anish K...
19/08/2020

Image: ‘Marsyas’ (2002), by Anish Kapoor (1954, Mumbai, India - presently based in London, UK)
Tate Photography
© Anish Kapoor studio. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020.

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online exhibition at benuri.org.

As London’s galleries reopen, albeit with social distancing, this image from Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall seems very apt, with its diminutive viewers. For the third Unilever Commission, named after Greek mythological satyr, ‘Marsyas’, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Kapoor created a vast trumpet-like structure that filled the staggering, cathedral-like space and the uninterrupted length between Boiler House and Switch House. No single visual can do justice to one’s experience of the installation because it cannot be viewed in its entirety from one vantage point.

#AnishKapoor #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #red #steel #indian #india #greatbritain

Image: ‘Emanations from a Coffee Cup’ (1998-2013), by Paul Gopal-Chowdhury (b.1949, India - presently based in London, U...
17/08/2020

Image: ‘Emanations from a Coffee Cup’ (1998-2013), by Paul Gopal-Chowdhury (b.1949, India - presently based in London, UK)
Image courtesy the artist
© The Artist

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online exhibition at benuri.org.

Like steam rising from a hot cup of coffee, multiple realities and memories emanate from Gopal-Chowdhury’s painting, as he assimilates his past and present in India and in England into a single canvas. An image of a morning ritual in Indian culture - a female offering holy water or milk to a religious figure – is surrounded by glimpses of a ghostly London, where the urban day might begin with a coffee – a daily ritual that we are all so familiar with.

#southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #women #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #colorful #indian #india #greatbritain

Image: ‘NHS V COVID-19: Fighting On Two Fronts’ (2020), by The Singh Twins © The Singh Twins: www.singhtwins.co.ukMidnig...
15/08/2020

Image: ‘NHS V COVID-19: Fighting On Two Fronts’ (2020), by The Singh Twins
© The Singh Twins: www.singhtwins.co.uk

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online exhibition at benuri.org.

This timely exhibition which coincides with the date of Indian Independence, declared at midnight on 15 August 1947, addresses the representation of Indian immigrant artists working in Britain for more than 70 years. In the spirit of collectivity, today’s post is a heartfelt response to the global pandemic.

This image first entered the public consciousness through social media. It pays tribute to NHS and healthcare workers in their battle against COVID-19 which, for complex reasons, has disproportionately affected the BAME community; the figure of the St. George (patron saint of England - in fact, of Turkish descent) is replaced with an Asian nurse who slays the dragon personifying the virus, while ‘Britannia’ symbolises Britain’s dependency on the contribution of people of BAME origin.

#thesinghtwins #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #horse #dragon #colorful #indian #india #greatbritain

Image: ‘Shiva’ (1985), by Prafulla Mohanti (b. 1936, Orissa, India - presently based in London, UK)Image courtesy of The...
14/08/2020

Image: ‘Shiva’ (1985), by Prafulla Mohanti (b. 1936, Orissa, India - presently based in London, UK)
Image courtesy of The Noble Sage, London
© The Artist

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online exhibition at benuri.org.

As the anniversary of Indian independence approaches, this beautiful and spiritual watercolour by a founder of the neo-tantric art movement, seems an apt celebratory image. Although titled after Shiva ‘the Destroyer’ from the trimurti (three idols) of Hindu mythology, this simplified bindu (dot), signifying both nothingness and totality, nevertheless conveys a sense of calm meditation. Evoking nostalgia for India’s blue oceans and white clouds, reds and oranges around a white core also recall the hibiscus flowers which Mohanti’s mother offered during religious ceremonies.

#PrafullaMohanti #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #colorful #indian #india #greatbritain

Image: ‘Portrait of Peter Pears’ (1958), by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) Britten Pears Archive© Estate of F N Souza....
12/08/2020

Image: ‘Portrait of Peter Pears’ (1958), by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002)
Britten Pears Archive
© Estate of F N Souza. All rights reserved, DACS 2020

The Red House, Aldeburgh

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online exhibition at benuri.org.

As much as live music is missing from 2020, it seems apt to present an image of Peter Pears,renowned English tenor, who with his personal and professional partner, composer Benjamin Britten, assembled a vast collection of artworks, supporting artists from diverse backgrounds, and thus helped shape a rich multicultural arts scene in Britain. By painting Pears as a person of colour, Souza asks the viewer to rethink what they are looking at – is it Pears, or is it Souza narrating his own vision of the British cultural establishment?

#fnsouza #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #skbakre #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #portrait #man #colorful #indian #india #greatbritain

Tune in for BBC1’s News interview this evening at 6.30 pm with our Chairman David Glasser talking about Ben Uri’s new Vi...
12/08/2020

Tune in for BBC1’s News interview this evening at 6.30 pm with our Chairman David Glasser talking about Ben Uri’s new Virtual Museum and Research Centre. @narielwalla @shantipanchal

Yet another article for the Midnight’s Family exhibition, thank you artdaily.com!ArtDaily -The First Art Newspaper on th...
11/08/2020

Yet another article for the Midnight’s Family exhibition, thank you artdaily.com!

ArtDaily -The First Art Newspaper on the Net

We would like to thank @dianebilimoria for this amazing article about the Midnight’s Family exhibition in “My Good Life”...
11/08/2020

We would like to thank @dianebilimoria for this amazing article about the Midnight’s Family exhibition in “My Good Life”, a blog that covers the best of food, travel, fashion & culture in Mumbai and London. Thank you @zehrajumabhoy for your immense input and participation in this cultural and meaningful project. @shantipanchal @rachel.j.dickson.5 @chilaburman @anish.kapoor @shivangi.ladha @thesinghtwins_art @raqibshawstudio Hormazd Narielwalla

Link to article: https://mygoodlife905.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/viewing-indian-independence-through-art/

Image: ‘Self-Portrait’ (1961), by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) Ruth Borchard Collection Image courtesy PIANO NOBILE,...
07/08/2020

Image: ‘Self-Portrait’ (1961), by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002)
Ruth Borchard Collection
Image courtesy PIANO NOBILE, Robert Travers (Works of Art) Ltd
© Estate of F N Souza. All rights reserved, DACS 2020

Midnight’s Family: 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain - Ben Uri online catalogue https://issuu.com/benurigallery/docs/midnight_s_family_70_years_of_indian_artists_in_br.

“Renaissance painters painted men and women making them look like angels. I paint for angels, to show them what men and women really look like.” were the words of Indian artist, Francis Newton Souza. Souza is the founder of the pioneering Progressive Artists’ Group in Bombay in 1947, after Independence, with S.H. Raza, M.F. Husain, K.H. Ara, H.A. Gade and S.K. Bakre. He became the most highly-acclaimed Indian artist with an international reputation and has embraced self-revelation through paint.

Though he did not paint many self-portraits, Souza used rich layers of vibrant colour to portray himself. Despite an exaggerated handlebar moustache, a beard protruding below, a bony, chiselled face and bristly hair, the overall image immediately invites an allusion to Christ wearing the Crown of Thorns. This reminds us of the significance of Christian iconography in Souza’s work. With spiky and raw detailing, Souza has succeeded in veiling a comical, humane, and melancholic version of himself.

#fnsouza #southasianart #decolonizingarthistory #ImperialSubjects #theindianmoderns #theprogressiveartistgroup #skbakre #southasianblacklivesmatter #artist #artwork #selfportrait #man #colorful #indian #india #greatbritain

📣 PRESS RELEASEMidnight’s Family: 70 Years of Indian Artists in Britain, online exhibition at benuri.org.#exhibition #on...
04/08/2020

📣 PRESS RELEASE

Midnight’s Family: 70 Years of Indian Artists in Britain, online exhibition at benuri.org.

#exhibition #online #india #happy #summer #southasianart #watercolor #portrait

01/08/2020
Part 2 - Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting

Part 2 - Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting 🎥

Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting is Ben Uri Research Unit’s first digital show devoted to a contemporary émigré. Born in the mid-1950s (exact date unknown) in rural Gujarat, western India, Panchal arrived in London on a British Council scholarship from 1978-80; he has now lived and worked here for over 40 years. These 6 images, across a decade, showcase his masterly handling of his preferred medium - saturated colours that can hardly seem to 'be' watercolour.

https://benuri.org.uk/exhibitions/41-shanti-panchal-a-personal-language-of-painting-2007-2018/works/

👏 Shanti Panchal

#exhibition #online #shantipanchal #india #happy #summer #southasianart #watercolor #portrait

01/08/2020
Part 1 - Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting

Part 1 - Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting 🎥

Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting is Ben Uri Research Unit’s first digital show devoted to a contemporary émigré. Born in the mid-1950s (exact date unknown) in rural Gujarat, western India, Panchal arrived in London on a British Council scholarship from 1978-80; he has now lived and worked here for over 40 years. These 6 images, across a decade, showcase his masterly handling of his preferred medium - saturated colours that can hardly seem to 'be' watercolour.

https://benuri.org.uk/exhibitions/41-shanti-panchal-a-personal-language-of-painting-2007-2018/works/

👏 Shanti Panchal

#exhibition #online #shantipanchal #india #happy #summer #southasianart #watercolor #portrait

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Comments

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