#Mayday in #Istanbul
There is not traffic on the way from Sabiha Gokcen’s airport to #Beyoglou: the smart bus of Havas company slips quietly. It is a lucky after a queue at passport control very close to a riot… skyscrapers with a Dubai allure and a touch of the new Berlin are planted everywhere. Besides nice neighborhoods, clean and not mixed up as some years ago. Horizon is settled by cranes showing how much money is concreted in this country. I look at mosaics on some walls e I count floors as they were sheep. Suddenly they ask us to get down: “it’s not possibly to reach #Taksim square. Police has closed all the area. It’s not far, just 2 km…”. I try with a taxi, but he is not able to enter the restricted area, even going by an other side. So I arrive with Gianluca on foot in a sung square, all over photographers in ponytails are brushing their eyes and old workers are unlocking iron gratings closing the access to the square. After the protest, nightlife continues for some protesters not in jail in the narrow streets of Pera. Sometimes someone is singing Internazionale in Turkish. I wish the old socialist I spoke to some days ago were here: he wanted to convince me that nobody is interested in that XX century’s armory. Besides, this part of the town was locked down, but mayday was celebrated.
At #Salt, a very cool contemporary art space in the Main Street of Beyoglu, there is a collective exhibition entitled “A Century of Centuries” . It seems to me a good answer to whom believes the past is over. “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion” Einstein wrote in a famous letter. On this theme, the apparent illusion of time, the Turkish artist Didem Pekun realized an intense video diary set between London and Istanbul. It start on the 19th of January 2011, anniversary day of Hrant Dink’s murder and ends two years later in the same day. It flows through the protest of English students and the surprise of Gezi park experience. It questions the flowing, our staring at the window. A visual novel of rare effectiveness and poetry. I’m watching this video two years after 2013 and I realize I lived the same experience she is being telling about, of being locked out on mayday. Two years from 2013 and 8 from Dink’s assassination, and there are no answers about his murder while mayday is still forbidden.
Here an abstract of #pekun video “Of dice and men”
And what I saw from my balcony today (drawn by Gianluca Costantini)