Women with superpowers/4

FB_IMG_1493732801888SHANNON KAY (Small Projects İstanbul)

-Tell us about you and what is one thing that makes you happy.
I’m a 29 yr old woman, I’ve spent most of my life in Australia, but first and foremost I identify with my own and others humanity (as opposed to nationality). I’ve been lucky to spend the best part of the last 7 years travelling and living in different places in the world, and for now I feel deeply that the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met and challenges I’ve faced have made me who I am today.
Much of my happiness comes from those around me. An unexpected conversation with someone new, or a grounding exchange with someone who knows me well, learning from those I love and participating in their growth in return. Sharing in the process of learning something new, this is what makes me happy… and I love a challenge!

– What is you relation with Istanbul?
I’ve been here now for nearly 2 years. I’ve come to feel it is a place of passion and tragedy, or more likely that has just been the underlying emotions of my personal experience! It is an enchanting, chaotic and intense place for me, mostly characterized by it’s astounding and endless variety. I love it here, but at the same time I know I will be happy to leave some day. Probably seeking a new place to settle for a while that is greener and simpler, in which to reflect on the wild ride that is life in Istanbul!

– Now then, what is your superpower?
I have cultivated a pretty strong capacity to adapt: to new places, new living conditions, new social environments, new lifestyles… which doesn’t mean I actually find it any easier with each experience, but just that I think I’m better each time with reflecting on, accepting and processing the inherent struggle of change, loss and the unknown. I consider what makes me powerful has developed out of this, enabling me to connect more deeply with others, to comprehend that which I will never be able to understand, to share what I’ve learnt and to listen well. So that actually, it’s an exchange; a shared power source that I can both draw from and contribute to.

– Which woman do you endorse next?
This is the hardest question of all… Istanbul is so full of incredible women, it’s hard to just choose one!
Karyn Thomas has been my friend, mentor and co-director at Small Projects Istanbul. My life here would not be what it is without her, which is to say my life would not be the same! I endorse Karyn, for her heart, her work and her energy.

FB_IMG_1493732837193VALENTINA ELMETTI (Co-founder of ONAR and Italian Instructor at ITÜ)

– Tell us about you and one thing that gives you your energy.
I am a 30 years old woman, trying to grow up and do what she loves to. I was born in Italy with two nice wheels instead of legs, who are not gonna let me stop seeing the world.I am an Italian Instructor with a background in Linguistics and Intercultural communication. I am always up to new researches and project: my latest battle is on sexist language and language stereotypes. What gives me energy is first of all the people I meet, in first place my students. We share this idea of making the world a better place. I’m a very practical person, I like to do things where I can see a positive impact on people, feel that I am doing my part to sustain the causes and support the values I believe in. My energy comes from my strength: I never give up. I am also co-founder of Onar Istanbul and its Educational coordinator. It takes so much energy, but it gives so much in return too. That’s the key of my apparent balance, I guess.

– Shall İ stay, shall İ go, why you stay with 3 words and 1 image.
Love, worthiness, evolution. The picture that I picked is one of my favourite among Henri Cartier Bresson’ collection: it represents a street. As Carlos Castaneda said: “A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question, does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.”

-What is your superpower?
To laugh. That’s how I face things. I also cry a lot believe me, I am hopeless Cancer, but my superpower comes from the joy as positive energy I am able to spread around. Laughing is the key for me, that I feel has an effect of people around me.

– Which woman do you endorse?
I endorse Ahu Yurtuglu, founder of Bildiririz.