Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Mübadele – Ανταλλαγή (The Exchange): collecting stories and memories of migration

Designed and directed by Ozan Baysal as part of 2018 Medinea Outreach Programme, the project Mübadele is based on collected personal stories and collective memories of migrated Greek – Turkish communities and their next generations who live in Istanbul.

The 1923 Lausanne Treaty, which ended the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish War, decreed the compulsory exchange of religious minority populations in Greece and Turkey. As a result, almost a million and a half-Orthodox Christians residing in Turkey and half a million Muslims residing in Greece were uprooted from the lands on which they lived for generations and were forcefully sent to another country. The agreement not only caused a radical homogenization of the distribution of populations of the Near East but also, marked a milestone in the nationalization and modernization processes of the two countries, thus reshaping the nationalist discourses, as well as the cultural and national identities of Greeks and Turks.
Stories from The Exchange of 1923 were narrated by participants as sections of a composition – titled “Mübadele” which was composed by Turkish composer Recep Gül. The composition consists of sections that are open for improvisatory narrations as well as pre-composed areas. This project has also been led by Recep Gül whose composition is performed and, Alexandros Charkiolakis, who gave an effective effort on organizational works. A concert has been performed on October 20th, 2018 in one of Medinea members concert hall, the Center for Advanced Studies in Music.

This 2018 Medinea Outreach Project intended not only to remember the Greco-Turkish Forced Religious Exchange, a human tragedy from the past by narrated stories. But also to reconsider and address some questions of contemporary importance, such as forced migration, homogenization, othering, displacement, the contingency of identity and cultural mobility.

Foundations/Social Associations/Institutions
The delegation of the European Union to Turkey – Ankara/Turkey
Center for Advanced Studies in Music – Istanbul/Turkey
Foundation for the Lausanne Treaty Emigrants – Istanbul/Turkey
The Friends of Music Society – Athens/Greece