The Art of Freedom in Kurdish Exile
On the occasion of her new film installation Bad People, Bad News, artist Cemile Sahin talks to Ersin Çelik, Kurdish film maker and member of the Rojava Film Commune, about artistic means and strategies in exile. Which political meaning does art have amid the censorship of autocratic states and how can art counter the propaganda by dictators and their media staging. Which meaning does art have in its function as counter memory and counter narrative for stateless communities that don’t possess the interpretational sovereignty over their own history?
Cemile Sahin, is a Kurdish artist. Her artistic practice includes both images and stories, which she stages in multimedia video installations. She examines the instrumentalisation of media and the significance of diverse perspectives for the writing of history. Working with a variety of media, Sahin explores how history and its narration changes when it is constructed through diverse – or even contradictory – points of view. In 2019, she received the Berlin Fellowship of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
Ersin Çelik is a writer, journalist and filmmaker from Malatya, Turkey. In 2006, he graduated from the Physical Sciences Teaching Department of the Ondokuz Mayıs University in Samsun. He then started working as a journalist, which often led to arrests and prosecution. Much of his work as a writer and filmmaker focuses on conflict areas such as Rojava and Kurdistan. His first feature film debut Ji bo azadiyê (The End Will Be Spectacular) was released in 2019 and premiered at the Kolkata International Film Festival. Ersin Çelik is a member of the Rojava Film Commune.