Women with superpowers/2

Women with superpowers/2

anna serrano_onarANNA SERRANO (PHOTOGRAPHER)

– Anna, tell us about you and, of course, your relation with İstanbul.

I was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, and I have lived half of my life in Rome and I still have one foot there.
My heart, instead, has been trapped in Istanbul. My feelings for this city go beyond infatuation and even love. Long time ago I followed a dream: to learn some Turkish and to get to know the country as if I was born there. As if I was one of them. And since Turkish people are so warm-hearted, they adopted me and I became one of them.
I have spent years taking photos of every single corner of Istanbul. I learnt by heart every single angle, building, stone. Still, I always discover a new place, or the same place under a new light never seen before.Istanbul is eternal, like Rome. It just happens to be on the other side of the Mediterranean.

– One thing you love and one that you would erase.

It seems that Phylo of Alexandria said:Be gentle, for everyone you meet is fighting a big battle. This is a sentence that for some reason I keep on repeating myself constantly. Like a zen exercise. I would like to live and to die without fear, like a real samurai (easier to say than to get done)
I admire humbleness and I promote respect as the best way for all to survive on this planet.I deeply dislike arrogance, although I understand it is an illness and it can be cured.
I believe in the right of association and I cannot stand people telling how others are supposed to live and with whom.

– Read what she thinks about superpowers!

I don’t believe in superpowers, I believe in superpeople whereas they are women, men, young or old, white, black or green. Constant work, an open mind, not judging, silence and a long way to walk are the best ingredients to do things that are ‘super’ and that make people ‘super’. Say it in another way : when you (woman or man) are allowed to be yourself you start being super and doing things that are super.
Taking photos is what makes me feel not so cold in life.

– When I asked Anna a name of another woman to interview she gave me a long list of names and I think one of the first will be Özge Özerbek, a young violinist!

 

Aysegul Selenga_onarAYŞEGÜL SELENGA (filmmaker and Onar ‘s collaborator)

– Tell us about you! And last time you thought “wow that is a damn good idea”?

Hello I am a woman who just turned 40 and would have never known 20 years ago what life would bring her and how incredibly interesting the last 20 years would be. Life has a lot to teach us. I think I can finally call myself an artist now that I made two feature length documentary films. I try to tell stories. I try to tell audio visual stories from the heart. I believe that is my art. Observing other lives and telling stories of those whose voices cannot be heard otherwise has always deeply interested me. I like learning / watching others’ stories. And putting my mind and heart into what can be done to better situations, what can be done for those who are not as “lucky” in life as us. I also adore cinema. The visuals, the scenary, the music, the emotions, the faces, the stories and, once again, the heart. I have always believed that if people do not put their heart into the things they do, there won’t be much meaning in life. And, as sad as it is, we are slowly going towards a more heartless world. Much more robotic. But hope dies last, and those very few who have the heart, will shine even better in pitch black.

My last damn good idea was when I suggested my working partner and co-producer#DeliziaFlaccavento that we take a small trip together to a wonderful place called Munzur, Tunceli, in Eastern Anatolia. In the small town of Ovacık, in the heart of Anatolia, surrounded by one of the most wonderful, surreal sceneries you can imagine, where most of the population are Kurdish-Alevites, there is the first mayor ever elected from the Turkish Communist Party. The people of Ovacık produce organic agriculture in cooperation with the mayor and provide scholarships to kids in need. It is a fantastic model for humanism and honest labor. This is my 3rd film.

– What place in turkey impressed you most?
Undoubtedly, the Munzur river and its people have impressed me the most in Turkey and in the world.

– So… what is your superpower?
My superpower, if I ever have one, is I guess to never ever give up Not even hope.

– Who you endorse next?
I endorse la mia mamma (my mother) Meral Taşkent next. She is an emotional cancer sign, she never gave up, she has been holding on to life and family and has been taking care of her special son, who is a painter and who suffers from schizophrenia. She has been creating wonders at @maviatkafe , a social rehabilitation center for the schizophrenic patients in Ankara and with zero budget, has been trying to provide a better future for the patients and their families.
I also endorse Petra Holzer and Nazan Kesal two talented filmmakers in cinema for ladies with SUPERPOWERS!

Thank you girls of ONAR, you are also my little, big hearted heroines. And thank you #DeliziaFlaccavento for endorsing me for you should know that a two full hearts and one and a half mind collaboration creates wonders

Izabela ErsahinİZABELA ERŞAHİN (Founder of BEBEMOSS, endorsed by Sandrine Ramboux)

-Tell us about you and what is one thing you are proud of having done.

My name is Izabela I am a mum, founder and the designer behind Bebemoss. We produce handmade organic and fair trade toys and other baby products. I am what people could call an accidental social entrepreneur. I did not aim for launching a social business it just somehow happened… During the brand creation process it happened that I started employing stay at home mums to handcraft Bebemoss products. Creating a whole community of mums working either form their own homes or from our workshop where there is a playground so that they can even come with their little ones. Those mums can decide on their work hours and working as much or as little as they want or need. We are now about 60 Turkish mums and with the help and collaboration of Small Projects Istanbul we are integrating now 20 Syrian mums to our knitting and crocheting mum community and hope soon even more. So here we are 80 mums working sustainably producing organic and handmade toys, baby blankets and so on…

– What is your relation with Istanbul and Turkey?

I am a French expat and I fell in love with Turkey and Istanbul from my first visit on. I have been living here for about 13 years now. I met the love of my life with whom we did 2 amazing little boys and we await the arrival of a little girl. He is my best friend my confident and the biggest supporter of my business and career. I am growing my business which slowly became my dream job and a real life passion. Besides the endless hours I loose in traffic, I love the people and the city I never felt more at home anywhere more than I do here in Istanbul.

– Now then, what is your superpower?

Despite my husband calling me “supper mummy” a lot, I do not have any superpowers. I am a mum caring for her 2 little ones and soon 3 and for my hobby and home. The passion for my job grew with the business growing and the social part of it brings me lots of joy and fulfilment. More than I would have ever imagined actually. When you are as lucky as I am having an amazing family a few good friends and a job you really do care about and if on top of that that job makes the world around a tiny bit better or people around you more happy you can almost move mountains…

– Which woman do you endorse next?
I would love to nominate Oya Kalender the founder of Anne Meclisi she is an amazing woman.