Kundura Hafıza represents the memory of today's Beykoz Kundura that is a prominent industrial cultural heritage of Istanbul with a history that goes back to Ottoman era and operated as Sümerbank Beykoz Leather and Shoe Factory between 1933 and 1999 after the establishment of the Republic. It explores Beykoz Kundura, which used to be a living space beyond being just a factory when its kindergarten, cinema and library are taken into consideration, with different methods for understanding its historical development within the context of tangible and intangible cultural values.
Kundura Hafıza exhibition, launched in June 2021, covers the inspiration of the production activity interwinding with the daily lives of almost three thousand workers, officers, and their families at the factory as an important part of their lives. It examines Beykoz Kundura as a space of life and the state of 'being interconnected' with selected archive materials and oral historical narratives. Kundura Hafıza archive not only studies the machines that underwent conservation, but also oral historical narratives of old factory workers and their relatives that has been studied since 2015. Hafıza archive continues to grow as new interviews are added to the ones that has been conducted with 150 people up until now. In addition, there are many documents are kept and conserved in the archive with hundreds of photographs such as architectural drawings of the factory buildings, maps, plans, technical drawings of machinery, shoe catalogues, correspondences, general instructions, invoices, job applications, certificates of quality, bills for goods etc.
Vardiya, artist-in-residence program, creates new spaces of reflection and encounter with an experimental, innovative, and inquisitive approach of Kundura Sahne’s performance practices in line with an approach that pursues local wisdom of Kundura Hafıza and preserves elements that would otherwise be lost. It plans a working cycle with the artists, which protects, conserve, and guards the archive. Kundura Hafıza entrusts the archive to the artist who takes over. It creates a field of research through art practice and provides participation and access to the archive by granting the artist the power of interpretation within the context of the main collecting and compiling principle of the archive.
The artists who are invited to Vardiya for working at the archive in certain periods of the year for certain durations transfer their duties to the artist that will take over. The artist decides how to make the transfer in this creative process. The concept and practical outcomes of this system of working in shifts are presented to the audience through an public session.