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Here is my project…

By denying our own personal pain, we have created the current world where the absence of love is called love. Today, perhaps what lies beneath the hypocritical life we have reached is denial. Denial of the need to confront the deadly fear we have for the pain we’ve engraved within ourselves. Pain and empathy are strongly related to each other and oppressing pain destroys empathy. The more we are open to pain, the more capable we are of feeling empathy. As long as we continue to refuse to understand the link between the denial of our own pain and its alliance with authority - rather than being an expression of internalized behavior – morality will be nothing more than etiquette. 

It’s part of my Asperger nature that I always communicate well with nature and animals;  they are a catalyst to my work and my life.  I first rode a horse in Brecon whilst learning English back in 1994 and on returning to Turkey I got my own horse which I rode every day. Then in my novel, “You exist in no way”, a horse and Brecon were part of the story. Later dolphins became part of my life. I discovered they became sick in captivity and campaigned to stop the practice. In my book, “Tempest of Yearning”, how dolphins see humanity was an underlying commentary and all the proceeds from this book I gave to the dolphin freedom charity.   Whilst in Cardiff I walked every day in Roath Park to feed the geese, I became known as the goose mother. I used my photos of them for my first photo exhibition, “Birds and Words”.

In 2013, when the controversy started about my play Mi Minor, I was writing a fantasy novel called “Erospa”. The accusations about my play being the rehearsal of the Gezi Park protests, reached such a level that I started to receive hundreds of life-threatening responses from the government supporters.  Even though Erospa was half-finished, with all that happened I became so stressed, so worried that one day I had to destroy it for security reasons. It was a strange moment, an absurd moment, a painful moment, one I can never forget. I had to leave the country a few days later and started to live in Cardiff. After moving to Wales and especially in the last two years, there has been a big change in my writing style. When I rewrote my destroyed novel, Erospa,  it was very different in style to my earlier version because it is written in a cyberpunk style. It is a fantasy book mixed with reality and my friends, the geese, appear in this book. It is the first book I wrote whilst living in Wales.

While constantly trying to explore my connection with Wales, the availability and significance of nature in my life has dramatically changed both day-to-day and in my writing. For example, reading Tolkein in Turkey I believed he had an extraordinary imagination that described a mystical and fantastical land. But through walking in Wales  I realized the magical place he wrote about is real and exists.

Throughout my work, I have used the natural world as an allegorical setting for my observations of human behavior. Perhaps it is my Asperger nature that causes me to obsessively find allegories for human emotions in this space, in the natural landscape and geological past that has created the world we now see.

When I walk in Wales, it is like a film for me. I feel the ancient landscape and its past history viscerally as if it were part of my DNA. It is easy for me to write about these feelings and translate a  voice from nature into a human voice. Immersing myself in the isolation of Elan Valley will stimulate these emotions to the stories within me that I already want to tell.

Many different nationalities will be involved, for example, Welsh,  Kurdish, Turkish, Swedish, English,  Nigerian. These are artists, actresses, producers, musicians, journalists, scientists, writers… If just one scientist then put a before scientist or pluralize if more than one.  They are from different backgrounds but they have all got common interests in art and nature...

Each woman will visit me on their own. Individually they will come to Elan Valley and stay with me for at least three days. I will stay there alone every weekend between visitors.
 I have two different groups, one from London and the other from Cambridge. They would like to come and walk with me in the Elan Valley. I will be their guide.

Interestingly, after people hear about my project, a lot of women want to come and be involved. So currently I have more potential participants than available weeks. As the number of women who want to participate in this project increases, my excitement increases too.

My guest will come to Elan Valley on a Sunday afternoon and we will start walking on Monday. We will walk every day for four or five hours in nature in all weather conditions. But if my guest wants to do a workshop for half or a whole day we can do this with the Rhayader art community.
My plan is to walk for one hour in complete silence. We will listen to nature. Without communication gadgets.

I already bought some notebooks for my guests. They will write about their mood before and after walking. When we come back to our home then we will prepare dinner. Sometimes I’ll cook them delicious Turkish food. I hope sometimes they will cook what they love and teach me their dishes. Then it will be our creative time… At home, there are no communication gadgets either. For emergency situations, we have one normal line in the cottage.

Before they leave they will write about their experience in Elan Valley or they will draw or they compose a song… I hope when the project is finished at the end of the year I will create an exhibition, “Women in Elan Valley”, using all my and my guess creative output.

Either the freedom of pleasure or the captivity of fears…


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