In collaboration with IDFA the Read My World Festival shows four productions that highlight different topics and themes within Turkish culture.
Sulukule Mon Amour (2016)
Director: Azra Deniz Okyay
7 min / loop
Gizem and Dina are two young women in Sulukule, a district of Istanbul that is facing demolition. They dance in the streets and atop the ancient city walls with a torch raised triumphantly on high, burning colored smoke. Their dance is resistance, a celebration of their freedom. And there’s also freedom in the striking visualization of this film portrait, with all the dances in slow motion, in exciting contrast with the soundtrack.
They tell most of their story offscreen. When they started dancing, they were told that “People will stare at you, men will lust for you.” But if they had listened to those people, they would now be married and invisible. They want something else—they want to be happy. They aren’t dancing for other people, and certainly not for men. Sometimes they get chased away, but then they just go to the park and keep dancing. They dance in the rain and the snow, during the day and at night, believing dance can bring people together. They want to fight discrimination against women, Kurds, Arabs and Roma. Dance is their salvation.