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Between Tompouce and Baklava


‘Between Tompouce and Baklava’ explores how Turkish guest workers experienced life in the Netherlands: How did it feel to emigrate to an ‘unknown’ country? What were the setbacks? What is now typically Dutch about them? What values did they appropriate from Dutch culture? What life lessons did they learn? Recording and sharing these unknown migration stories creates new connections and dialogues between different (generations of) Amsterdammers. ‘Between Tompouce and Baklava’ is a multidisciplinary project recording and sharing the stories of first-generation Turkish guest workers through a portrait video series and a documentary, involving 10 families, different parties, 80 schoolchildren and different neighbourhoods.


Emin Batman had started his project Between Tompouce and Baklava to capture gripping stories of Turkish guest workers in the Amsterdam port. His father stayed as an undocumented guest worker in the flat affected by the Bijlmer disaster. Then he was officially allowed to stay. That intrigued Emin Batman, who was later born in Amsterdam. “How would my life have been different? What are all these other migrant stories?” In his project, he spoke to 43 guest workers. How can you connect those stories with information from archives, other (museum) collections so that these stories get their deserved place in the city’s history and can contribute to a better understanding of migrants in the city? That is where the Amsterdam Time Machine (Boudewijn Koopmans, UvA) and UvA students have helped.”