März 2021

Emre Koyuncuoğlu

Much misery, little hope from Istanbul, Turkey

Home is now a prison; only with your own efforts, you can convert to an office, school, hotel, restaurant, etc. Children are stoned through online games. You step outside; total frustration, people are waiting in lines for hours to buy 1 lira cheep bread. Afraid of each other. Secret burials, secret vaccines, secret losses, lonely mournings.The horrifying logic and the rapid change of the prohibitions, decisions. No law, no security, no job, no equal health system, no equal education, total chaos. We, the culture sector, the most optimist believers of hope, are fighting for their lives. All this misery and the awareness of all the losses will be recognized after all have being gone through and total change is being realized. There, the theatre which is silently and slowly collecting, watching, thinking, feeling will have the main role to act to connect the bits and pieces of the past and to heal collectively and have a proposal for a future. The theatre people, who will survive, will have lot to do for the better future.

Loves of my life. My son and my mother. Last photo of them together. The age of air came says the astrologists on tv. Taking every bit of left air in the lungs, I say to myself. The earth and rock period is over. 60’s generation is no longer rocking. The revolutionary rock, my mother is gone. A quick abrupt Covid 19 air blowing them out of the rat race. Just before her death she was demanding rights for the old people, who are totally locked down to their houses and left totally alone. “Arka kapıdan çıkarılan bir ceset mi olacağım” (“Am I going to be one of the corpse, removed away from the back door?” From Sevim Burak, Afrika Dansı) We are waiting at the backdoor of an immense huge newly built, stylish private hospital. Waiting for the corp of my mother to pick it up with the municipality funeral van. She is one of the 217 at 8.12.2020. Officially speaking.

-My dear, how are you mother?
-Better, Emrecik.

She never complains. She is a survivor. ”Survived so many trup d’atta” we say, to acknowledge her place and sustainability in this country. The last photo in her mobile phone is the hospital’s white lighted lamp. And I know what she is pointing at, her death is not fate.

Trying to understand, trying to protect, trying to survive, trying to continue, trying to have space, trying to have air, ground, water… A creature, seeking to find somewhere a fragment of joy of life. In virtual reality; we are too many. In concrete reality we are alone, distanced in a 2 meters radius. No hugs, no hand in hands, no kisses, no caressing, no love…

Nowhere signs of affection.

I never liked hidden souls. I became one. For now, for sometime, I am hidden.

This is the Bosphorus bridge, the busiest road in Istanbul and famous for its traffic jam in every hour of the day. In the weekends with the shut down circumstances, only ambulances and police cars are passing. The 15 million city is silent in a very harsh and sad way. Home is now a prison; only with your own efforts, you can convert to an office, school, hotel, restaurant, etc. Children are stoned through online games. You step outside; total frustration, people are waiting in lines for hours to buy 1 lira cheep bread. Afraid of each other. Secret burials, secret vaccines, secret losses, lonely mournings.The horrifying logic and the rapid change of the prohibitions, decisions. No law, no security, no job, no equal health system, no equal education, total chaos.

This is from Sakıp Sabancı Museum Outdoor Events, happened to be the first try out for the other outdoor performances during the Pandemic .It was also an exemplary collaboration with the theatre cooperation, founded during this pandemic to support private theaters. We, the culture sector, the most optimistic believers of hope, are fighting for their lives. All this misery and the awareness of all the losses will be recognized after all have been gone through and total change is being realized. There, the theatre people who are silently and slowly collecting, watching, thinking, feeling will have the main role to act to connect the bits and pieces of the past and to heal collectively and have a proposal for a future. The theatre people, who will survive-of course-, will have a lot to do for the better future.

Emre Koyuncuoğlu is a theatre director and writer based in Istanbul but works anywhere. She is the director of Contemporary Performance Arts in Istanbul Municipal Theaters and also the artistic director of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum Outdoor Performances realized every year in summer in Istanbul. She also give arts courses in Koç University.


emrekoyuncuogluprojects.com/

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