I am still here, Hala Buradayım
Video by Sabine Küper-Büsch & Thomas Büsch, Istanbul, 2020
Hala burada mısın? Bunalmadın mı? Are you still here? Aren’t you fed up?
Bunaltı arkamdan fısıltılar…Bunalma, bağımlı olma. Anxiety, a whisper from behind my back: Don’t give up, don’t depend.
Hala buradayım,Kimlerden kime. I’m still here, From where to where? From whom to whom?
Bunalma, bağlılaşma. Dinle, delirtme, dinlercesine. Depression and attachment, side by side. Listen, don’t go crazy, listen, listen!
Şehir bizi dinlemiyor. Biz onu dinliyoruz. Gece gündüz. The city is not listening to us. We are listening to the city. Night and day.
Mutluluğun resmi var mı? Karanlıkta şarkı söylenir mı? Is there a picture of happiness? Can you sing in the Dark Times?
Bir Metropolün senfonisi. Symphony of a Metropolis.
Hala burada mısın? Bunalmadın mı? Bunaltı arkamdan fısıltılar…Bunalma, bağlılaşma.
Are you still here? Aren’t you fed up? Anxiety, a whispering from behind my back. Depression and attachment, side by side
Please keep a distance from each other. Dear Citizens of Istanbul. Please keep a distance from each other. I am a Police drone
Sürrealist saçmalıklar. Her yerde yaygın Absürdistanlık. Surrealist Absurdity all over, a universe of nonsens.
Hala buradayım. Boş veriyorum şüphelerime. I’m still here. I ignore my doubts. Right then, go on!
Hala buradayım -I am still here was shot on the Tramvay-line operating in between the districts Kabataş and Sirkeci in Istanbul frequently used by Sabine Küper-Büsch and Thomas Büsch. The artists are living since twentytwo years in the neighborhood Beyoğlu and consider themselves as İstanbulites. Nevertheless the pandemic experience causes emotions of anxiety and tension due to a questioning of belonging reinforced by the pandemic conditions during periods of Lockdown caused by Covid19.
The question “Are you still here” is one frequently exposed to them by Locals, Friends and Family in these days. In some ways it causes more strains then the thread of illness itself since the Pandemie is a global phenomena and not limited to a location. It causes the question of where is home, am I homeless, where do I belong? The mask ironically somehow gets an item of equalization since it is a common accesoires for everyone.
The ride on the Tram fuses into an experience of alienation due to the presence of local authorities using parts of common observatorial items as precautions for the social distancing. What does safety mean? Who saves whom from what is a matter of a common absurdity arising independendtly from the plague as a kind of human condition omnipresent.
The Turkish and English narration is reflecting some incompabilities of language. It is not a direct translation but intercorrelating the specific Turkish Syntax and its ambiguities with the English commentary. “Bunalmak” can be a feeling of overwhelming but of satiety and tiredness as well. Symptoms of illness are used as a vocabulary for a general stage of an internal distress as an omnipresent stage of humanity in times of Covid19.
The text contains quotations from poems and films of Nazim Hikmet, Orhan Veli, Walter Ruttmann and Bertolt Brecht. The questions, “Is there a picture of happiness?” and “Can you sing during dark times?” are answered brief: I am still here.
The Video and the Text were produced for Seçkin Aydin’s 2020 Online exhibition: The Home Cases: Home / The / At / From, https://thehomecases.wixsite.com/home/post/sabine-küper-büsch-thomas-büsch
Mahalla Festival 2020
To cope with the COVID-19 pandemic the Mahalla Festival 2020 took place as a remote festival to overcome self-isolation, demobilization and paralysis.
The Mahalla Festival 2020 was implementing remote tools to keep intercultural communication and creative expression alive even in times of physical distance and to help to cope not only with the pandemic but also to create new forms of interactive communication and understanding between different communities in the world.
The Wandering Tower is the title of a surrealist short story by Sergej Prokofiev from the times of vivid migration movements on the edge of the world wars.
The Festival was quoting the title as a metaphorical frame for Mahalla 2020/2021. The tower of Babel is connected as a motive to the search for the origin of language and the access to the divine.