Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number AWM2016.863.1.1
Collection type Art
Measurement 88 minutes
Object type Digital file
Physical description single channel colour HD video
Maker Ergun, Koken
Date made 2017-2018
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Period 2010-2019

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Köken Ergun’s feature film artwork, Heroes (2018), deals with the concepts of martyrdom and heroism that have evolved around the legacy of the Gallipoli/Çanakkale campaign and responds to Turkey and Australia’s shared history and legacy.

Ergun worked closely with Gallipoli tour guides from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, initally embedding himself as a regular guest without filming and then documenting more than fifty tours over almost three years. The resulting film brings together varied war narratives as told by different tour guides, emotional reactions of their audience, interviews with tour participants and patriotic theatre plays organised by the Turkish state to further impassion tourists visiting martyr monuments and graves. The work draws attention to the different permutations of the same history and how it is conveyed and experienced - through the frame of martyrdom in the more religious, nationalistic culture of Turkey, and through heroism and sacrifice in the more secular cultures of Australia and New Zealand.

'Heroes' is a co-commission between the Australian War Memorial, Protocinema and Artspace, Sydney, with additional support from Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey (SAHA) and Çanakkale Biennial Initiative (CABININ)