Gallipoli – a cultural connection

Today is ANZAC day so I thought that I would repost an article from our 2011 trip to Gallipoli.

I still struggle with the fact that this event is one of the most significant in our history. There is so much history in Australia that is not acknowledged, which makes it difficult to heal the pain of the past and collectively move forward as a community.

Gallipoli is a powerful place and now nearly 100 years later, this story has created a strong friendship between countries once at war. When we were in Turkey, so many people knew about Gallipoli and were so welcoming to us when they knew we were from Australia.


So much of my thinking leading up to this trip has focused on how to engage with Turkey as cultural strangers, as people who have no direct connection to the culture and history of this foreign land. This has been an ongoing subject in many conversations about our collaboration – exploring how we can create work that was more than a tourist observation, a skimming of the surface so to speak.

Our experience at Gallipoli challenged some of these assumptions today, as the history of this site has a narrative that is central to the national identity of Australia. What I was not ready for, was the impact that this place would have on me. This story is one that I have known my whole life, even though I have no direct relatives who served at Gallipoli.

Perhaps why I was overwhelmed by my visit to this site, was not…

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