LA offices




The Kurdish Summer Pasture and the Ethnographer’s Eye.Documentation of a Denied Existence

Mehmet Emir





Werner Finke (1942 – 2002) was an ethnologist, who managed to travel to Turkey for over three decades. In the regions inhabited by Kurds, he created audiovisual documentaries and compiled ethnographic collections. In 1969 he travelled through the eastern Anatolian provinces and was fascinated by the inhabitants and the mountainous regions in the Turkish, Iranian and Iraqi border areas. His fascination made him travel almost annually to the area. In the 1970s and 80s, the existence of the Kurds and their language were denied – their social life and political intentions could not be made an issue. Nevertheless, Finke continued the audiovisual documentations and collections.

This presentation, compiled by the artist Mehmet Emir, shows unique, non-published material about the life stock breeders on summer pastures during the early 1970s.

Mehmet Emir on the festival topic “Wie meinen?”: “As a Kurd and migrant, I say, here in Austria, even worse, in Turkey there is no place for my opinion!”

With friendly support of the  Institute for Social Anthropology and Austrian Academy of Sciences

Mehmet Emir is an artist with a focus on photography. He also works as a columnist, musician and social worker. Emir studied contextual painting with Prof. Hans Scheirl at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and had exhibitions in London, New York and Istanbul, among others. In 2012 he published the book “I am still in Vienna”, in which he published his letters to his parents living in Turkey. In 2016 he was honored for his engagement by the City of Vienna. He is currently working at the Academy of Sciences, at the Institute for Social Anthropology and ACDH-Austrian.