This documentary oral history project places Urla's surrounding landscape at the center and attempts to capture the memories, experiences and expectations of its residents. By avoiding a linear narrative and underlining the cyclical nature of various processes that led to or resulted from the transformations, the project aims to show the inextricably linked nature of places and people.  The working title trans-crossings has both a physical and metaphorical relevance to this project.  While physically the act of transcrossing can be understood as a scanning of the transforming landscape of Urla, it can also refer metephorically to the bridging of different class structures and mind sets that were brought into contact through such transformations.  We hope that through these physical and metaphorical transcrossings we will be able to highlight the richer hybrid formations that evolved in the region.

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TRANSCROSSINGS

Şebnem Yücel, Architect

Bilge Demirtaş, Director

Can Gündüz, Sociologist-Architect

Ever since the opening of İzmir-Urla leg of the Cesme Highway in 1992, the town of Urla has found itself in the middle of major social, economic and urban changes that transformed its rural landscape into a landscape of privilege.  The agricultural fields surrounding the town were first cut in the middle by the highway; then wide open fields were walled off, only to allow passage for select few through their gates; the agricultural fields were shrunk, and the socio-economic practices were drastically altered in the region. The rural gentrification and its new landscape of high-end gated communities, vineyards and horse ranches, however, did not completely cut off their ties with the soil, fostering agricultural investments on organic and ecological products; almost going full circle and tying up with the earlier agricultural practices of the region. 

This documentary oral history project places Urla's surrounding landscape at the center and attempts to capture the memories, experiences and expectations of its residents. By avoiding a linear narrative and underlining the cyclical nature of various processes that led to or resulted from the transformations, the project aims to show the inextricably linked nature of places and people.  The working title trans-crossings has both a physical and metaphorical relevance to this project.  While physically the act of transcrossing can be understood as a scanning of the transforming landscape of Urla, it can also refer metephorically to the bridging of different class structures and mind sets that were brought into contact through such transformations.  We hope that through these physical and metaphorical transcrossings we will be able to highlight the richer hybrid formations that evolved in the region.