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What I Brought in My Luggage: Relics of Lost Lives

What I brought in my luggage

What would you bring in your luggage if one day you had to leave your beloved country all sudden? What would be the most important items you could not leave behind you? A pen? A toy car? A  lone teaspoon or a bookmark?

At this photo exhibit, you will see a reflection of devastated lives, human rights violations and increasing refugee issues in Turkey. Also, you will be able to see how they were welcomed in the USA and recovery from the tragedy they had to go through. 

An event series in collaboration with Women of the World, UNAU, and Emerald Hills Institute.

Dates and Times

September 14, 2019 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

September 15, 2019 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

September 16, 2019 - 4:00pm to 8:00pm

September 17, 2019 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

September 18, 2019 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

September 19, 2019 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

September 21, 2019 - 4pm to 8:00pm

Events will be held on following dates and times:

Exhibit: September 14,15,16,17,18,19,21 -- 4-7 pm

Community Service Project: September 16, 6-8 PM

Reception: September 21, 6-7:30 PM


People’s lives in Turkey changed dramatically after the failed coup attempt on July 15th, 2016. Instead of a proper investigation regarding the perpetrators of the coup, the Turkish government quickly engaged in a mask purge thousands of peaceful and innocent civilians to unemployment, unfair imprisonment, social exclusion and total defenselessness in the face of State violence and harassment.

People from all walks of life were taken aback by the disproportionate response of the government that turned into a collective punishment. Repeated promises were made of totally ripping out all members of social and ethnic communities which have to be enemies of the state. This ensured a mass exodus of people from Turkey. Those who were able to fly from the airport with their passport considered themselves lucky compared to those who had to walk across the border by paying all their savings to human smugglers because their passports had been canceled without any due process. Only after they were able to land in safety and freedom that the feeling of a lost country, together with the traumatic memories that darkened the beautiful memories of their lives before the coup.

The objects displayed in this exhibition are the relics of these lost lives of women and children, representing the yearning for a homeland that is abruptly and arbitrarily denied to them simply because of their association with a social group.

These tragedies will help us to fathom what women refugees from various had been through before arriving in the USA eventually.