Public Message (27) A roadmap for the self to follow when life deorbits

Ece Temelkuran
24.06.2020
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‘Social distancing’ is what Corona experts advise, but ‘social nearness’ is what we aim for with our literary events. Passa Porta wants to keep connecting authors with their readers. Over the coming weeks, we will therefore be asking writers, from home and beyond, for a personal “Public Message”.

Ece Temelkuran is a Turkish journalist and political commentator, and author of How to Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship. At the Passa Porta Festivals of 2017 and 2019, she was invited for two reading performances with her Belgian friend and colleague Annelies Beck, comparing their views on today’s world and the meaning of “fragility”.

In response to our series of “Public Messages’, Ece provided us with this new set of five small video poems that she created in collaboration with Mateja Pavlic.


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“Our new normal of constant turbulence calls for a new, multi-cord human voice. Because even if the entire hell is cut and pasted on Earth, even when no single trace of normality is left, the self will still be there, standing alone as always, asking, 'What now?'

This set of video-vignette-poems is my answer to the question of the self. The word’s job is to prove the endurance of the fragile. When the beautiful and the humane are besieged, it is the word’s job to protect you, the human kind.

The video-vignette-poems are made to support your nape, so you can still keep your necks strong, long and straight. As the solid, printed word slowly disintegrates, I enveloped my words in small images of serenity. So that you and me and the words, when this is all over and even when it is not, can still be intact.”

Ece Temelkuran, June 2020

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1. Self

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2. Sisyphus

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3. Dandelions

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4. Mercury

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5. Crow

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By courtesy of Ece Temelkuran and Mateja Pavlic, 2020

Ece Temelkuran
24.06.2020