Saturday, 10 April 2010

suna aktas imaginary (and reality)

I was born east of the world, not very far. They called it Middle East and I called it Middle Earth. I was very slim and tiny when I was going to primary school. Therefore, my parents forced me to take cod liver oil tablets three times a day. Since then I believe my emotional side is more developed than the others sides of my brain!

Growing up with the war news and cruelty of human beings all around the world and my country forced me to look at the other side of the planet. I dreamed of going out, outside the circle I was born within.

When I was at Primary School, I had unforgettable memories! Pupils at my class were telling the teacher, they would like to be a doctor, engineer, nurse, teacher or whatever… when it was my turn I told them I wanted to be an adventurer with excited voice. They went silent for a second and they all laughed at my answer! They advised me there was no such an occupation. Since then I decided not to share my opinions with anyone who is not special for me.

When I was at secondary school, I started to collect photographs from newspapers with a little help of my small scissors; generally, they were sad with war reports or with people’s happy moments. I made four albums of them. I cut them, paste them on pages of my special notebooks and I hid them on a special secret place in my home, between the broken bricks of the roof. One day for no reason whatsoever I burned them all.

I passed many exams and won a place at university to become a journalist. I worked almost five years as a photojournalist and I covered many situations, people and places. I experienced happiness, bitterness and cruelty… A few years after my best friend left Istanbul I told myself it was time for me to feed my childish adventurer side and I came to London with my two suitcases and a bag of dreams. I sacrificed most of my dreams and I lost my belief in tales. I understood there is no more fairy tales… instead, there was the transformation of people and my of my own in a bad way. I understood Kafka…

Loneliness, cold sticky unhappiness have accompanied me most of the days of my life in London. I understood what Kavafis meant in his poem, unfortunately. I wish I never understand… Long time passed with struggle and questions of WHY I tried to go back where I used to live in Turkey. Then I realised my soul is hanged between places and there is a big distance between peace and me. I do not know where I belong or where should I settle and grow my roots. My roots are friends of wind.

I am only jealous of good directors and photographers. My favourite directors are Stephan Daldry, Stanley Kubric, Lars Von Trier, Yesim Ustaoglu, Bahman Ghobady… I am still taking photographs and tying to make films in this rainy climate, and forcing myself to believe I am a lucky person, to cheat life. Most of the times I tried to keep my eyes shut, like self-censorship, but sometimes I still struggle about hope: is it torture or is it relief?

I won some awards in photography and I was involved in many exhibitions, in Turkey, Great Britain and around the world. Once upon a time I was chosen as a “Best Student of the Year” at the University in Istanbul. I completed my postgraduate degree with distinction. I completed cinema and documentary courses in London. I am still taking photographs and writing about life.

I am still struggle, if that hope is torture or is it relief. Good Day.

text and photographs (c) suna aktas 2010

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