State Library of South Australia

From Hostility to Lasting Friendship

Date: 26 November 2015 to 5 December 2015

Time: 9am to closing time

Location: Your Hub, ground floor of the Spence Wing

Turkish veteran Corporal Mustecip and ANZAC soldier Claude Lennan Comyns
Turkish veteran Corporal Müstecip and ANZAC soldier Claude Lennan Comyns

On Thursday 26 November, a rare exhibition will open in Adelaide at the State Library.

Co-presented with Veterans SA, it forms part of South Australia's Anzac Centenary commemorations.

From Hostility to Lasting Friendship" the exhibition tells the stories of ten Turkish and ten Anzac soldiers who fought in the trenches at Gallipoli. Part of a research project focused on cultural themes found in ordinary soldier narratives (rather than in military records) the exhibition tries to unearth the human voice and transcend national and ideological boundaries. It invites us to explore notions of 'enemy', of national identity (forged in war) and of reconciliation in a multicultural Australia.

This exhibition is ground-breaking in terms of Australia's Anzac Centenary commemorations: it's the first time stories of the Turkish soldiers will be told together with those of Anzac soldiers, and presented bilingually to an Australian audience (in the original Turkish and translated into English).

The exhibition has been curated by Turkish Professor, Dr Azer Banu Kemaloglu, from anakkale Onsekiz Mart University (located within close proximity of Gallipoli).

"Like Australia, Gallipoli was a nation-building battle for Turkey, whose countrymen were asked to 'lay down their lives' to prevent the allies from taking hold of the Dardanelles Straits. Out of this battle, a new Turkey was forged."

The exhibition will challenge Anzac mythology revealing how similar the experiences of the Turkish soldiers were to those of the Australians who fought against them. It will also reveal the cultural differences between Turkish and Anzac soldiers, reaching out to descendants of the soldiers to convey messages never before heard.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to explore how we understand ourselves; a chance to rethink our identity in light of these private reflections from former 'enemies', with whom we now share a great and enduring friendship.

Supporting events

Curator Talk

Thursday 26 November 5.30 to 6pm
Your Hub, ground floor of the Spence Wing
Free, bookings are essential
Assistant Professor Dr Azer Banu Kemaloglu is travelling to Australia with the exhibition and will present a (free) Curator's talk.

Film screening - Gelibolu

6 to 8pm Thursday 26 November
Hetzel Lecture Theatre
Free, bookings essential
Gallipoli (Turkish title Gelibolu) is a 2005 film by Turkish filmmaker Tolga rnek. It is a documentary about the 1915 Gallipoli campaign. Through the use of surviving diaries, letters and photographs from both sides, the film shows the bravery and the suffering on both sides.

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