Köken Ergun
2012, 22:00 min
Day 2, Screening 1
16 Dec 2018, 13:45

The Battle of Karbala was a military engagement that took place on 10 Muharram, 61 AH (October 10, 680) in Karbala, in present day Iraq, between the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph and Hussein, the grandson of prophet Muhammad. Hussein and all his supporters were killed; women and children were taken as prisoners. This battle is central to Shi’a Muslim belief in which the martyrdom of Hussein is mourned by an annual commemoration, Ashura. There are approximately one million Caferi Shiites in Turkey, most of which live in Istanbul and the eastern border town of Igdir. In Istanbul they inhabit a shanty town neighborhood in the outskirts of the city, which they started building in the late 1970s. The neighborhood is called Zeynebiye, referring to Hussein’s courageous sister, Zeyneb.

In ASHURA, artist Köken Ergun has worked in close collaboration with the people of Zeynebiye, documenting their preparations for the ceremonies in 2010 which involves a mass theatre performance and the isolated weeping ritual at the end of the Ashura day.

Director/Editor: Köken Ergun
Co-Producers: Merve Elveren, Onur Gökmen
Directors of Photography: Emre Erkmen, Batu Tezyüksel
Sound: Thomas Wallmann