Razzmatazz Vol.4 :: An All Female Performance Happening, 2017
Performance Festival in London
Curated and Directed by Panicattack Duo (Naz Balkaya, Emilia Demetriou) and Dagmar Glausnitzer-Smith, RAZZMATAZZ is gathering 12 female artists from all over the world questioning the status of the female in the current global political climate. Two of the participating names are Performistanbul’s artists Ekin Bernay and Gülhatun Yıldırım.
Cities and bodies are collapsing. Death is everywhere, and we thrive to survive in this state of constant destruction. War has become our reality wherever we live. Bombs do not limit themselves to war zones anymore. In a state of non-belonging, I feel the only group of people with whom I do not feel like a minority is when I am with refugees and immigrants. With every news alert, anxiety of bad news rising… My hometown Ankara, Turkey has become a graveyard. And the world is in constant suffering.
total disbelief for borders total belief in love.
In 2010, on a trip to Bristol, I noticed an old lady. Holding a sign saying ‘hoot for peace’ by the side of the road. She had a backpack and a bottle of milk sticking out of it. She seemed like she was holding great responsibility on her shoulders and her neck. It also struck me how she was present with this message. This lady was Louise.
I left Bristol after a few days, but could not keep my mind of her. I felt the urge to go back and to see if she still would be there. Took a bus ride not knowing if she will show. After waiting for a few hours, she did arrive. I talked to her and asked her if I could film her protest. Explained how she moved me. She very kindly allowed me. After her protest we had a chance to have some tea and talk about what brought her there. Getting to know her more, I saw the pain, and how she could cope with all the life experiences through this simple yet very difficult act. A dedication while she was over 90 years old, to bring peace. For the last 7 years I did not know what it is that I wanted to do with these recordings. I wanted to replicate what she had done. Multiply it by numbers. Spread it among other cities.
She did this almost everyday, Louise had become just another sign.
When we see bodies lying together in stillness, very often it recalls war. So I wonder if Louise’s simple act can be transformed into a sea of people with the same intention of becoming one and imagining peace. Can we recreate an image of bodies lying on top of each other and be alive this time. In stillness and with the simple intention of peace. We could be 10 or 100 bodies. We can move in and out of the mountain. But how long can we hold a sea of peace for? And find new roots as believers of art, in togetherness. This stillness is an ode to Louise.
Her at the end of her life, over 90 years and still standing tall, is the essence of what we need to feel.Constant death, birth. War and peace Thisperformance is alive right now. Today is when we need it most.With the suffering humankind is going through globally, only love can help trigger change. Please lay down with us in stillness, to remember lives lost and to ‘be one for peace’.
© Ekin Bernay and Performistanbul