Photo by Chukiat Choeiklintes

Stuart Fishelson is a photographer/filmmaker and professor of Media Arts at Long Island University, Brooklyn New York. He worked with photographers Arthur Leipzig and Arnold Newman, and his work has appeared in solo exhibitions throughout the US, Canada, and the Middle East. He was awarded grants from Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, NEH (National Education for the Humanities), Josephine Bay Foundation, John P. McGrath Fund, and TASA Award for scholarly achievement. His works Reflections of Einstein, Poveretta Salonika, Will Rogers-an American Spirit, and Portrait of the Past have been shown on public television (PBS-New York, PBS-NOVA, and WGBH-Boston), Holocaust Museum in Washington-DC, and The Museum of Intolerance, Glen Cove, NY. His work also appeared in The Athens Film Festival in Greece, The Lower Eastside Film Festival in New York, IBM Think Theatre Research Center and The Queens Science Museum in Queens-New York.

His collaborative works with multi-media artist Aylin Tekiner include Property of Unborn (multi-media installation) shown at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY in 2012, The Trilogy of the Massacres (Scent, Sorrow, Exiled) shown in Zilberman Gallery-Istanbul in 2014 and at Columbia University in New York in 2015, and Do All Daddies Have Gray Suits (a shadow theatre play still in progress) first act accepted as a draft at the Yale Satellite Cabaret Festival in 2016.

He is currently writing and co-editing a book entitled Conversations with Einstein which will include interviews with 4 Nobel Laureates (Linus Pauling, I. I. Rabi, Hans Bethe and Eugene Wigner) and close friends of Albert Einstein. He is also co-creating a multi-media presentation called Children of the Survivors for the Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies.

Ummugulsum Aylin Tekiner is a multi-media artist from Turkey now living in New York. Ms. Tekiner uses her art to develop issues about social injustice. As an activist her choice of medium changes based on her motivation to awaken viewers about political issues in the Middle East. Her work empowers the voiceless and confronts the ruling power. Ms. Tekiner has used public space like streets of Istanbul, historical torture jail in Sinop, sacred places of worship in Van to engage audiences and art patrons that are traditionally not aware of the plight of the voiceless. Ms. Tekiner was trained as a sculptor, and has developed bodies of work that include photography, video arts, and live shadow theatre.

Ms. Tekiner’s book “Ataturk Monuments – Cult, Aesthetics, Politics”, which was printed first in 2010 and the second edition in 2014, stands as a testament to the unique study of interdisciplinary fields that brings social theory and fine arts together. Ms. Tekiner in her meticulous study describes the political landscape of the Ataturk statues during modern Turkey. Through her analysis, Dr. Tekiner explains the political motivations behind each monument. What hidden missions did these statues have and what agenda did they create for the state? Following this template Ms. Tekiner used the tools of political science (collective memory, statistical analysis, archive research, etc.) to develop a unique approach to her art. The Trilogy of the Massacres (Scent, Sorrow, Exiled) from the Middle East beautifully addresses the political manipulation of the government’s statements regarding the 3 massacres, shown in Zilberman Gallery-Istanbul in 2014, and at Columbia University in New York in 2015. In 2015 Ms. Tekiner’s bold work called On the Wall exposes the ongoing tragedy of missing family members from Turkey’s Kurdish, Alevite and leftist population. On the Wall engages audiences by using audio interviews of a family member and images on their mourning walls to mobilize the collective memory of the Saturday Mothers in Turkey. Her new work called Do All Daddies Have Gray Suits is an autobiographical memory play that will use shadow theatre techniques from ancient Anatolian shadow theatre, and will incorporate new multi-media technology to tell her story.

She is a member of both the Collective Memory Platform (which was formed by the families of 28 victims of the political murders in modern Turkey) and Research Institute on Turkey (RIT) based in New York.

Ms. Tekiner was awarded grants from Ralph E. Ogden Foundation in 2017, John P. McGrath Fund 2016, and was awarded the prestigious one-year Special Research Fellow Award by Yale School of Drama in 2015.