By Ayse Ozge Dogan
“Long after we are all gone, it is the sacrifice of our patriots and their heroism that is going to be what this place is remembered for…” said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in a speech just after 9/11. “The Sacred” is an interactive art project that prefers to remember the same place, Lower Manhattan, for the Arab community that lived there in 1920s New York City. Media discourse since 9/11 has been based on the unquestionable existence and commemoration of Ground Zero, created heroes, myths and a sacred space. As time went on, this space turned into an exclusive claim which only selectively considers its past. “The Sacred”, as an answer to this social amnesia, is a reminder of Arab existence in New York, as well as a chance to be critical of public discourse regarding the construction of social and national narratives by the media.
Ayse Ozge Dogan is a visual artist who began her journey in Turkey. Her focus on documentary film making accompanied her interest in the traumatic and violent Greek-Turkish population exchange in the early 20th century. Always between the fields of journalism and film making, she explores different tools of media making. She enjoys being immersed in politics, popular culture, film theory, and producing media related projects intertwining them all. Her artistic approach extends from video-making and installation art, to web documentary and news writing.