Platform dedicated to conducting field research and gathering programs, / Adana, Mersin, İstanbul, İzmir / various collaborators / Supported by EU CultureCIVIC Grassroots Grants in 2022  and BAYETAV Research Funds in 2023

Mahsul [Yield in EN] focuses on the environmental, cultural and social yields of rural modernisation projects and industrial agricultural practices in Çukurova.

Mahsul  will be on the field as of 2023 and meet with the yields of Çukurova. In addition to field explorations and encounters, Mahsul will organize public gatherings and foster conversations on yields.

The main driver of the agrarian transformation of region have been associated with colonial aspirations of the former Ottoman Empire and modernisation ideals of the current nation state, Republic of Turkey. Various interventions and projects like the railway line,cotton colonies, factories, water dam and power plants were designed and realized in Çukurova in 20th Century. Mahsul Project aims to trace the starting points of these interventions and their environmental and cultural and social ‘yields’ on the landscapes of Çukurova and human-land relationships.

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Photo 1: My mother, aunties and uncles in the cotton field where they worked during the summer, 1986, Karaisalı, Turkey
Photo 2: My father working in the field where young olive trees and pomegranates grow, 2015, Karaisalı, Turkey

Diagram:  Preliminary research sketches

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Mahsul asks: How many crops can grow on the same soil? What is the connection of the railways, the dam, the factories and the power plants that have grown on the same soil as the other crops over the last two hundred years? How these infrastuctures evolved and given rise to other yields, industrial farming routines, microclimatic changes, urban-rural identities and new semi-natural landscapes?

To explore these questions, the Mahsul Project aims to assemble a field research exploring the past and current urban and rural landscape through field trips and archival research. Adding to that, it aims to initiate a dialogue through series of field meetings in the region involving regional agricultural producers of different sizes, the people associated with the agriculturral industry, the inhabitants interconnecting rural and urban landscapes, and the memories that record this evolution.

Through this dialogue, Mahsul aims to create a collection of observations, answers and critiques on the transformation addressed. Also the dialogue will serve as a collective memory and an oral historiography that gathers people, their experiences and memories representing the different inheritances of the agrarian transformation the region experienced.

All  the encounters of these field visits will be recorded in the interactive Mahsul Archive. The website will function like a research diary that will also create a network of research foundings, new questions and connections linked to the land, agrarian developments, ideologies behind them, their influence on the human-land relationship and their other tangible and intangible artefacts.

Mahsul Project will be on the ground first in winter 2022 and spring 2023. In addition to field explorations and meetings, the Mahsul project will organise a series of public meetings and gatherings in Adana in collaboration with Nöbetçi Kütüphane, a local initiative dedicated to creating spaces for critical and creative encounters.

The project is developed by Dilşad Aladağ in 2021 and supported by the CultureCIVIC Grasroots Project Grants in 2022 and BAYETAV Research Funds in 2023.


Initiated by Goethe-Institut Istanbul, Anadolu Kültür, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Institut français de Turquie, and Danish Cultural Institute in Turkey, and in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Turkey, CultureCIVIC is a European Union project that aims to foster civil society involvement in the field of arts and culture.


BAYETAV is a foundation that is concerned about the ongoing problems in social, political, economic fields and the ecosystem surrounding us, inequality, injustice and discrimination arising from differences and deprivations, and invites us to think about and produce solutions on the divisions and polarizations caused by these.(Google translate)