Hello, my name is Ibrahim Coskun. I was born in 1955, in Dersim -today Tunceli-, in Turkey. I am a visual artist with the focus on painting. My artistic development was significantly influenced by my grandmother. My grandmothers family fell victim to the -ethnic cleansing 1937 bis 1938. To talk about it was taboo. The region of Dersim belonged to the homeland of Armenians. Even though many Dersimians described them self’s as Kurden, they have their own identity, culture, religion and language. They call them self’s Kirmantsch. The Kirmantsch people and the Armenian population have lived together peacefully in Dersim. In the Armenian Genocide carried out by the Republic of Turkey’s army in 1937 until 1938 as ethnic cleansing in Dersim tens of thousend’s of people were massacred, and just as many were deported to western Anatolia. The rest of the population faced starvation and misery. In my childhood there were still two Ruins of Armenian churches in our village, where my grandmother used to go every week. She lit candles and prayed like a Christian. Despite the great respect, that was shown to her she always remained alone. I was the only person close and familiar to her. She gave me all her love and tenderness. She told me about the massacres of the Armenians and Dersimians with all the pain and longing associated with it, in a kind of fairy tale. It was about the fight between bad and smart people, where in the end the smart people won despite all the brutality of the bad ones. She only had one wish for me, that I should never pick up a gun and try to study art, so that I could leave a mark in this world as a good person. I was 6 years old when she died. It was a big shock for me. I came to Hannover when I was 15 and trained as a machinist there. Because of my interests in art, I always wanted to be close to artists. Because of their encouragement and support I started painting at the age of 19. I visited adult education center courses and very quickly gave courses myself. I completed a correspondence course at the Paris art Academy in Hamburg. My first exhibition in 1984 was already reported on in a film on Bavarian television. Over time I build up contacts with the Berlin art scene. Since I had a big interest in helping to build up the art scene in Turkey, I commuted back and forth between Germany and Turkey. I mostly lived in Mercin with my wife, we had opened a cafe and a studio there. Because I was a co founder of the Turkish Human Rights Association, and because I made a critical statement about a documentary, I came under constant surveillance by the state. At the end of 1984 my Turkish passport was confiscated, and I was no longer able to leave Turkey. The cafe and studio were forcibly closed and destroyed. I fled to Ankara and opened a gallery there. At the end of 1989 I learned from very close friends that my life in Turkey was threatened and that I was to be eliminated. Through my good contacts to German artists and because of my good reputation in the art scene, my escape was planned and carried out via the German consulate. In Germany Willy Brandt welcomed me to present the activities of the Turkish Human Rights Association. Today I live in Berlin and again in Turkey, where I am very committed to and active involved in art and the opening of art galleries. I opened my own gallery in Bodrum. My main themes roots and sources of my painting are the devastated landscape the depopulated and burned villages of Dersim. Since 1984 I have shown my paintings in various solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Turkey, Luxembourg and Belgium. Today I work as a freelance artist in Berlin, Istanbul and Bodrum.