Köken Ergun | Selections from B’Tselem Video Archive


Köken Ergun

Selections from B’Tselem Video Archive

24 December 2016

5533 (İMÇ)



B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was founded in 1989 for monitoring, documenting and advocating to improve human rights in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 2007, as part of its Camera Project B’Tselem has distributed video cameras to Palestinian families living in high-conflict areas in the Occupied Territories. Families are trained by specialists in order to document daily cases of human rights violations committed by violent settlers or Israeli soldiers. Collected video footage is conceived by B’Tselem field workers and used primarily as evidence when B’tselem submits the case to the legal authorities. Certain footage is distributed to the international news media.

In 2009, Köken Ergun searched through B’Tselem’s video archive and selected footage that is not direct documentations of such violence or conflict but rather personal and unexpected moments. The selected footage is neither edited nor has it ever been used by B’Tselem. Between 2009-2013 this selection was shown in the form of presentations and discussions to which Ergun invited other artists and academics in different parts of the world. In this talk for After the Archive?, Ergun examines this archive in the light of recent developments in our region.  


About Köken Ergun:


Köken Ergun (born 1976, Istanbul) is a Turkish artist working in film and installation. His films often deal with communities that are not known to a greater public and importance of ritual in such groups. Ergun usually spends a long time with his subjects. He engages in a long research period for his projects before starting to shoot. He collaborates with ethnographers, historians and sociologists for publications and lecture series as extensions to his artistic practice. Having studied acting at the İstanbul University, Ergun completed his postgraduate studies in Ancient Greek Literature at King’s College London. After working with American theatre director Robert Wilson, Ergun became involved with video and film. His multi-channel video installations have been exhibited internationally at institutions including Documenta 14, Palais de Tokyo, SALT, Garage MCA and Para-Site Hong Kong. His films received several awards at film festivals including the “Tiger Award for Short Film” at the 2007 Rotterdam Film Festival and the “Special Mention Prize” at the 2013 Berlinale. Ergun’s works are part of public collections such as the Centre Pompidou, Stadtmuseum Berlin and Kadist Foundation.