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Exile and Journalism in a Global Pandemic: Voices from the MDJ

After a three month-long state-mandated lockdown, a historian interviewed the staff members and exiled media professionals who respectively work and live at the Maison des Journalistes regarding the impact of the covid19 pandemic on their lives. While the personnel talked about their current preoccupations vis-à-vis asylum applications and press freedom in professional terms, the asylum-seeking journalists shared their own experiences of exile and journalism from a much more intimate perspective.

The association Maison des Journalistes (“House of Journalists” – from now on MDJ) promotes three connected missions: 1) welcoming and supporting asylum-seeking media professionals in France by providing them with free accommodation in Paris; 2) fostering a healthy, free, and diverse digital public sphere encouraging exiled journalists’ professional activity; 3) spreading awareness of press freedom violation in the world among the youth through public events in schools, universities, and prisons.

I started an internship at the MDJ on June 8, 2020. Only one week before my arrival, the personnel had come back to the office for the first time since March 13, 2020. During the previous long months of state-mandated lockdown, the working operations had changed: remote working had become the rule and the members of the staff could not assist journalists through in-person meetings.

The fourteen exiled journalists the MDJ welcomes and provide with living accommodations and legal support were slowly rediscovering the liberty of leaving their rooms, returning to French language or journalism classes, and walk through Paris without restrictions. [Editor’s Note: Journalists could freely move within the residence, though they were recommended to practice social distancing and spend most of their time in their rooms]

My internship, thus, began in a very particular moment of the association’s life. The personnel were in the process of adapting all activities to the sanitary norms required by the covid19 pandemic.

I am an historian and as such I am interested in change over time, in the search for evidence, and in the analysis of continuities and discontinuities around a specific event or question. As I gradually settled in the MDJ, I started asking myself whether since the outbreak of the pandemic the people who work and live at the MDJ have experienced profound changes in the way they interpret and interact with what surrounds them or not. More specifically, do the MDJ’s staff and journalists think differently of the MDJ as both association and residence as well as of the broad notions of journalism and exile? If so, why?

To find answers to my questions, in the period from June 22 to July 6 I interviewed three of the seven staff members and five of the fourteen exiled journalists who respectively work and live at the MDJ. While I asked the same questions to all interviewees, in the end each conversation was different in terms of intensity, duration, location, level of formality, language (English, French), means of communication (written, oral) and collection of data (note taking, sound recording). I evaluated that, as my priority was to put my interlocutor at ease, I needed to adapt the interview format to each person’s rhythm and personality.

No matter their position or background, all interviewees said that, on a logistical level, the lockdown brought about challenges that still endure. The waiting time for an asylum procedure has significantly increased because the French Office for Refugee and Stateless People’s buildings closed during the lockdown and are currently facing a backlog; exiled journalists’ search for jobs and affordable accommodations has become more difficult as a result of the current economic crisis, which affects the association’s funding too; the MDJ and its partners had to postpone or cancel all public meetings, conferences, and debates for safety reasons. The Summer break too contributes to such a climate of wait, suspension, and uncertainty, as in France schools, universities, and most public offices usually either close or reduce their operations in July and August.

In interviews, the staff members highlighted the new challenges they face professionally, while exiled journalists lingered instead on how they experienced the health crisis and its effect on their life from a much more intimate perspective.

On the one hand, the Director Darline Cothière, the Partnership & Fundraiser Officer Camille Peyssard-Miqueau, and the Social Inclusion Officer Antonin Tort are all concerned with the financial crisis and its negative effect on the funding of the MDJ.

As the MDJ’s principal sponsors – mostly French medias – suffer a deterioration of their finances, one of the main preoccupations of the association is to develop new partnerships and initiatives that will contribute to the economic support of the MDJ.

Resident journalists did not place the financial crisis at the core of their concerns. The lockdown disrupted their quotidian lives. What they experienced as a major change in their lives is their habits in France and in the MDJ residence.  Each journalist had to deal with new inquietudes and loss of references.

The Director Darline Cothière interpreted exilees’ individual condition in terms of either resilience or fragility, depending on each person’s aptitudes and life trajectories.

Individually, the lockdown has made all of us weaker: each person as a result of their own capacities and life trajectory. Now, exiled journalists are characterized by resilience. […] For them, the health crisis has not been a repression, rather one more difficult experience to handle. Some journalists, nevertheless, lived this challenge with much concern and anxiety, which is legitimate. Why? They already face wait and live a transition period from their past life to their future life. Uncertainty plays an important role in their anxiety and frustration: uncertainty about their refugee status, the pandemic like us all, but also welfare benefits, family reunification, and the search for jobs.

The journalists found themselves locked in the residence for months. They confronted each other’s anxieties, frustrations, and expectations regarding the MDJ’s response to the health crisis.

As a Kurdish exiled photographer from Iraq, Karzan obtained his political refugee status in France in 2019.

A few journalists felt abandoned during that period. According to the Director, such a reaction is natural and made of the MDJ a microcosm of society:

There was a group effect. All the individual frustrations contributed to creating a climate of generalized concern. Those who were not afraid too became anxious. The MDJ, just like society, developed a movement of collective revindication and questioned the institutions’ legitimacy. Such a crisis uncovered that some journalists had a certain view of the MDJ that did not correspond to its real missions. […] During the lockdown, the journalists shared the same place and talked about their own frustrations and expectations. In these confrontations, fake information on the MDJ started circulating like fake news! This episode gave us the opportunity to identify a communication problem between the personnel and the journalists, and thus to elaborate new solutions: to inform journalists on the powers and missions of the MDJ, to organize workshops and regular meetings. The lockdown was but an opportunity to identify a problem and strengthen communication.

Representation of exile by the Mexican exiled cartoonist Boligán.

The first thing that struck me about exiled journalists’ responses to my questions was that they kept telling me about their life before the exile or connected their present condition with previous experiences they had in their home country.

When talking about his understanding of the lockdown as a distortion of the intertwining of space and time, Mohammed explained:

My understanding of time and space comes from my experience. Not my experience of the past lockdown, but of the besiegement of Douma, my city. You know when they say that the eye needs to look at a distant object as to be stimulated and feel comfortable. I didn’t see a distant object for 7 years in Syria. The sight in Syria is exhausting for the eye. Kidnapping, bombing, arresting, jihad allowed only a close sight. For 7 years they tried all weapons you can imagine on us, and after 7 years when this same space was still a target of attacks the time was still not running. When I left Syria in 2018 I felt like it was 2012, there had been no passing of time. I left Syria and arrived in Turkey. In Turkey, I saw for the first time people paying by touch. For me it was the first time in 8 years to see more than 800 people gathering in a place. In the train station in Turkey, there were 500 people arriving and leaving, and I realized that the world is so much connected for the first time. The lockdown is somehow connected to that experience of besiegement. It’s very different too: the whole world was in lockdown at the same time. The only aspect of the current crisis to hurt me has been the inequality of the virus: the virus affects some people much more than others. Just like the war in Syria. This idea of space/time of mine comes from the besiegement of my city.

Mamadou had a similar attitude:

I experienced Ebola in Guinea Conakry, my country. Ebola was not contained in my country because of the bad quality of health services. However, a vaccine has been found and there have been reliable treatments in addition to the vaccine. Moreover, it was an epidemic, not a pandemic. This is the main difference compared to the coronavirus.

Drawing on fakenews and Covid19 by the French cartoonist Plantu. Exhibition organized by the City of Paris in occasion of "Un été particulier".

The second thing that struck me is that all the journalists expressed an ardor for journalism that far exceeded professional fulfillment.  For them, journalism is not just a profession, it is a life mission. Mamadou explained why he chose not to publish articles during the lockdown and what has concerned him the most since the outbreak of the pandemic:

A journalist is by definition someone who adapts to a new situation. With the health crisis I realized that journalists had the great responsibility of keeping the readership informed on what was going on in the world. Many journalists decided to report the brute data on the thousands of daily positive cases and deaths, and by doing so they contributed to giving articles a certain quality and thus to actively contributing to such a climate of anxiety. I did not write much because I saw that the news with the brute data on deaths added sadness and anxiety. Moreover, I realized that the fake news circulated a lot: there was a proliferation of fake information in countries like mine where the leadership does not give journalists the permission to get access to the information on the pandemic. This situation challenged journalists all over the world, not just in Guinea Conakry. It was one of the most important challenges faced by press freedom. Journalists could not freely go on the field to verify the quality of sources; they could not act as first-hand witnesses. I thus decided to engage myself in spreading awareness of the quality of the news rather than in the writing of articles.

Other journalists as well evoked fake news, lack of transparency, and journalists’ responsibilities in the current health crisis. Mohammed said:

During the lockdown fake news and tabloid news circulated more than before. For example, a friend of mine sent me a video of a supposedly coronavirus-infected person leaking a handrail in the metro. But of course there was no proof that this person did that during the pandemic, or that he was actually sick. In Syria, this kind of issues literally kills people. Do you know what happens if someone says that tomorrow there is no sugar or toilet paper in the stores in my city in Syria?

Maiirbek (Kazakh investigative reporter on Chinese concentration camps):

Because of the pandemic situation, I interacted less frequently with sources in China and Kazakhstan.

And an Egyptian video journalist who asked me to remain anonymous confessed to me:

I have been much worried for my family because there is no transparence and press freedom in Egypt, and you cannot know how the situation develops. I always contact my relatives and tell them to stay at home, while in Egypt the medias say that everything is fine. In Africa, in Egypt the situation is very critical because there are no developed hospitals. I am still much concerned. The situation gets worse, and the epidemic propagates.

Bilal is a Turkish caricaturist in exile as a result of his criticism of President Erdogan’s policy.

On the other hand, the five exiled journalists I interviewed were more willing to share their personal perspectives on the pandemic and its impact on the present and the future.

Mohammed (Syrian photojournalist at EPA.eu) described his perception of the lockdown in terms of space and time.

What makes speed is the intertwining of time and space. When space is static for a long period, time stops: speed decreases to almost zero.

“Lockdown: you lock your spirit in the down”, Mohammed told me.

What happened during the lockdown is that the stopping of time brought about weaknesses and an overall sense of depression at the MDJ:

During the lockdown, the 2h/day I spent with the other journalists were very sick, because of the difficult time. Journalists wouldn’t go to the gym, school, etc. and had a very negative attitude. By now, I am more aware about the limits and fragilities of anyone (including me). Another problem is that many people who had been in conflict areas have an attitude that relativizes the pandemic, like “we suffered a lot in our life, we don’t care about coronavirus”. When I talk to my friends in Syria, they don’t care. They say: “we will die, finally”.

Beyond the overall feelings of hopelessness, exiled journalists perceived and reacted to the lockdown in different ways. For example, both Adam (Chadian free-lance journalist) and Mamadou (free-lance journalist from Guinea Conakry) told me that, when the French government established the lockdown, the fourteen journalists abruptly distanced themselves, each isolating in their room. “This big family brutally distanced itself”, Mamadou said.

Yet, isolation had different meanings for the two. Adam faced unbearable boredom and learned to be patient.

Mamadou, conversely, told me that he and other journalists experienced a deep lack of self-confidence as from one day to the other their advisors (professional, legal, academic) were not available to support them. As his university professors could not instruct him in person on his thesis, Mamadou was forced to work on his own. This gave him the opportunity to gain self-confidence and a renewed sense of responsibility:

We used to see people, have open doors. I loved to stop by the personnel’s offices and say “hello” every morning. We found ourselves without any service, which gave us new responsibilities. […] Among journalists, before the lockdown, we didn’t need each other. The lockdown solidified solidarity. We helped each other with our new responsibilities, for example I helped a fellow journalist write e-mails in French. […] I feel like I am more independent than before because I work on my own and don’t need the approval or advice of my professors. I learned that I can be alone and work confidently.

Both Adam and Mamadou felt “united from a distance”, in Adam’s words, but in such a distance each found different teachings.

Mohammed’s experience of the lockdown was still different and corresponded to what the Director of the MDJ calls the “resilience” of political refugees:

Being in exile, which I really don’t wish you to try, but imagine, in exile, everything is painful, and all suffering means nothing to me. It’s like a knife stabbed in your heart, you don’t care if a bee comes to bite you. You’ll have this poker face without any feeling, all your thought will be on your country. Exile is like a knife that prevents any needle to stab in you. It’s just a poker feeling, a poker face in the heart. If you drink coffee and you drink tea after, you won’t feel the taste of tea because the taste of coffee is too strong. For me the pandemic is a needle, because the government is on your side, people are on your side, there is a common enemy to fight. But I am always discriminated: I am accused to be affiliated with ISIS, I can’t speak French but people only speak in French to me, even the refugees here discriminate the refugees and only respect the French. In Arabic exile has a very bad meaning. It comes from the verb “push someone to leave”, the idea is of “forced displacement”. If you say it in Arabic you should cry.

Whereas the staff members talked to me only in professional terms, these answers suggest that exiled journalists did not distinguish between their professional and personal understandings of both the pandemic and the lockdown.

During the lockdown, Mamadou got upset about police controls on the mobility of people. The French state mandated that people could leave their home only for 1h/day within 1 km from their home and hold a signed self-certification that reported the exact time and reasons for the leaving. Exiles, Mamadou told me, are afraid of being asked for documents by the police each time they leave their shelter. The usual worry about being inspected, during the lockdown, became a constant fear for him. The police could ask anybody for documentation at any time, not in response to a particular instance. Such a climate of surveillance was a source of wide-spread anxiety among political refugees like Mamadou.

The following passage by Mohammed best exemplifies how exiled journalists made recurrent references to life before exile and journalism as a life mission. In midst of the lockdown, in mid-April, his press agency appointed him to take a picture of the 8 pm collective clapping, a daily ritual for people in France to show their gratitude for hospital workers from their window. That day, Mohammed was invested by similar feelings to those he experienced as a photojournalist in Syria:

Taking a picture is not just about the frame, the angle or perspective. I should care about the lightness and the time (and time and lightness are also connected). Once I had to take a picture of the 8pm clapping that included the Eiffel Tour. This reminded me of my time in Syria, when I took pictures during the suspension of the curfew, when I waited for safety moments to take pictures and go out from my shelters. Sometimes I just had one minute or just 40 seconds. I didn’t know where the bomb would come from, or my safety. I didn’t know how to take pictures, and from what angle, and with what lightness, because the rest of the day I was all the time in the shelter. I needed to build my time in the very short safety time. I was in the shelter, I received Whatsapp messages on what was going on, and then I would go out and take a picture of a bird, and then I would start hearing the noise of bombs and run to my shelter. So what happened during the lockdown was that I was assigned to take pictures of people who were clapping at 8pm, and I wanted to put the Eiffel Tower in the background. The clapping lasted only a few minutes, if not seconds. I had to go and take a picture. I found a woman on a balcony and I had the feeling that she would clap. I was afraid of taking pictures because I felt the pressure of the deadline. In one minute, I was able to take more than 300 takes, of which 5 good shots. It reminded me of when I was in Syria. I was back to the MDJ feeling just like when I went back to my shelter in Syria.

The exiled journalists that I interviewed do not envisage exile and journalism differently than they did before the outbreak of the pandemic and the lockdown. Rather, the crisis gave them the possibility to better understand their own identity of exiles as well as to confirm the importance of their action as journalists.

Picture by Mohammed of 8pm clapping with the Eiffel Tower in the background. April 2020. Courtesy of EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED BADRA.

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« Countryman » – un court-métrage réalisé par le journaliste Hassanein Khazaal, ancien de la MDJ, pour dénoncer la violence de la répression en Irak

Un poème palestinien dit: « Je suis de là-bas. Je suis d’ici. Et je ne suis ni là-bas, ni ici. » C’est exactement ça; quand tu vis dans une belle ville comme Paris, et que tu vois la situation horrible dans laquelle se trouve la ville d’où tu viens. J’ai fait ce film après avoir suivi inlassablement, pendant un mois, sur les chaînes de télévision et les vidéos en ligne, la situation en Irak. Car même quand je sors, quand je vois des amis, je ne parle que d’une chose : « Tu as vu ce qui se passe? La situation là-bas? En Irak? ». Partout où je vais, je porte mon pays avec moi. C’est l’idée de ce film…

Hassanein Khazaal, auteur du film

En sept semaines de révolte en Irak, il y a eu plus de 330 morts, avec environ 15.000 blessés.

Les jeunes Irakiens revendiquent l’accès à l’emploi, l’égalité sociale et la fin du régime politique totalement corrompu selon eux.

La plupart des personnes tuées ont été abattues à balles réelles, d’autres ont subi des blessures mortelles causées par des grenades lacrymogènes tirées à bout portant sur les manifestants.

En outre, des canons à eau ont été utilisés, pulvérisant de l’eau bouillante selon les informations fournies par les manifestants.

Il n’y a pas que la jeunesse de Bagdad qui se soulève en Irak, la ville pétrolière de Bassorah a réduit sa production de 50% suite au mouvement de protestation dans la ville. 

Pour mieux comprendre la situation actuelle en Irak, voici une série de reportages traitant de la révolte irakienne.

La leçon du « Printemps Arabe » avant un « Hiver Européen » !

[D’Alep à Paris] Sarah passe ses jours et ses nuits sans réaliser qu’elle est à Paris. Elle prend souvent le métro pour voyager dans son imagination et comparer ses deux vies « celle d’Alep et celle de Paris ». Elle entretient une forme de confusion entre ses deux villes, oubliant qu’il n’y a pas de métro à Alep.

Bienvenue en France

[EXIL] Suite du périple de Diddy. Après avoir couvert une manifestation dans son pays puis avoir été arrêtée, elle a pu prendre l’avion et traverser la douane sans encombre. Extenuée, la voici à Paris où sa nouvelle vie commence.

L’exposition photo d’Ameer à la Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Sagesse

[EXPOSITION] Samedi après-midi 6 octobre 2018. À 4.000 km d’Alep, en Syrie. 6 ans après le début des bombardements. Retour à Paris. D’une photo à une autre, le regard d’Ameer Al Hablbi nous habite. Le temps de l’exposition, nous vivons dans deux mondes parallèles: l’angoisse de la guerre et la douceur de vivre d’un étudiant parisien.

Un Arabe dans le Métro : « Attention aux pickpockets! »

Attention aux pickpockets! Dès que je monte dans le métro de Paris, j’entends cette alerte. J’ignore pourquoi je me sens à chaque fois concerné. Par l’accusation et non l’alerte (si vous ne l’aviez pas deviné). Ce sentiment est d’autant plus fort que la voix féminine répète le message en plusieurs langues sauf l’arabe. Je ne suis pas le seul à le penser. Prenons par exemple ce couple de touristes britanniques qui est tout près de moi.

Avec un geste de la main, le monsieur vient d’alerter sa compagne de faire attention au potentiel pickpocket derrière elle. Elle se retourne, me regarde de haut en bas, puis fait un pas vers son conjoint en collant son sac à main sous son épaule. J’ouvre mon sac à dos et en tire un journal afin d’oublier l’humiliation, mais surtout dans l’espoir de rassurer mes voisins. Je tombe sur une photo d’un concert qui me rappelle une blague:

  • Y a-t-il des européens dans la salle?
  • Oui!!
  • Levez vos mains! (les concernés lèvent tous les mains en l’air). Des arabes dans la salle?
  • Oui!! (quelques personnes)
  • Fouillez dans les poches!!!

Je plie mon journal et observe les lumières clignotantes sur la carte des stations de la ligne. Inversement aux tramways de mon pays, je me dis que les noms des arrêts du métro parisien rendent beaucoup d’hommage aux personnalités ayant marqué l’histoire de la République, d’Europe et du monde entier. Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Michel-Ange,  etc.

D’un métro à un autre

A Rabat c’est plutôt: Hay Karima (quartier de Karima), Mohammed V, Pont Hassan II, Nations-Unies, ou encore Hôpital Moulay Youssef ». Quel malheur. Je n’ai aucune nostalgie. J’aime mon exil et le Maroc ne me manque pas. En tout cas pas trop. Quand ça arrive, je me rends vite à Barbès. Les foules, les vendeurs de cigarettes qui abordent les gens et, pour utiliser le terme de l’humoriste algérien Fellag, les “Hitistes” – c’est-à-dire ces personnes adossées au mur toute la journée pour observer les passants. La station de Métro de Barbès ne ressemble pas aux autres. Les murs sont tristes et les panneaux n’existent pas ou fonctionnent rarement. Le temps s’arrête à Barbès. Au Maroc.

Un mouvement brusque me réveille de mon “voyage” au Maroc. Le métro vient de prendre un virage et une vieille dame a failli tomber. J’étais sur le point de lui céder mon siège avant de me rendre compte que j’étais aussi debout. J’ai aussi oublié que j’avais décidé de ne plus céder ma place aux… vieillards sans canne ou qui ne le demandent pas. Oui, depuis le jour ou une “vieille” dame, bien maquillée, m’avait regardé méchamment. Elle avait pris ma proposition comme une insulte à sa beauté et à sa jeunesse.

Tristes anecdotes sur la ligne 13 du métro parisien

La ligne 13, que je prends presque chaque jour, est une ligne bizarre. On dit que c’est un chiffre porteur de malheur. Moi, j’aime ce chiffre. C’est mon anniversaire et c’est l’ordre de la première lettre de mon nom dans l’alphabet. Sur cette ligne, il n’y a jamais de place libre. On y voit toutes les couleurs et tous les âges. Durant chaque trajet, je scrute les visages des gens en essayant de deviner leurs parcours, leurs “origines” et leurs rêves. Hier, inconsciemment, j’ai passé plus d’une minute à suivre la conversation d’un jeune berbère. J’ai même essayé de deviner ce qui se disait à l’autre bout du fil, moi qui partage avec lui la même langue natale.

  • Non, ne lui donne pas les 2500 dirhams, fais attention!

Je devinais que rien n’avait changé dans mon pays. Il faut toujours faire attention. Se méfier de tout. Du commerçant, des chauffeurs de taxis, des policiers, des voisins, de sa famille et, parfois, de soi-même.

Un garçon de cinq ans, accompagné de sa maman, monte dans le métro.

  • Maman, il y a trop de monde! (lance le petit apparemment effrayé par la foule afro-asiatique).
  • Oui.
  • Maman, pourquoi il n’y a pas de places?
  • Car les gens sont assis.
  • Maman, pourquoi il fait noir? (tunnel).
  • Allez, on descend au prochain!

Moi aussi je devais descendre… il y a trois stations !

Le festival Cinéma de Turquie à Paris : un refuge pour la liberté d’expression

C’est la 15ème édition Cinémas de Turquie” à Paris du 30 Mars au 8 Avril. Le Festival organisé avec la Mairie de 10ème arrondissement et l’association ACORT. L’intérêt de ce festival est la libre expression : certains films diffusés sont censurés en Turquie. Découvrez le programme ici

Une semaine de cinéma dédiée à la Turquie, le tout à Paris ! Attention, ce ne sont pas “des films turques” ce sont les films qui parlent de la Turquie, qui traverse la Turquie, qui viennent de Turquie, avec toute la diversité culturelle de ce pays.

A l’époque de la mondialisation, les relations, les subventions internationales et les équipes travaillant à la production d’un film sont internationales. Que signifie film turque, français, américain ou kurde dans ce contexte ?

Assurément pas grand chose. Il est donc important de souligner la volonté des organisateurs : c’est un festival de « cinéma de Turquie » et non pas de « cinéma turque ».

Cette balade des films de Turquie à Paris fête son 15ème anniversaire lors de cette édition. Pendant le Festival, il est possible de voir les dernières œuvres du « cinéma de Turquie » d’aujourd’hui qui ont gagné des prix dans les festivals internationaux. Dans certaines projections, il y a des rencontres avec l’équipe des films en compétition. C’est une chance de pouvoir poser des questions directement aux réalisateurs ou aux comédiens.

Liberté d’expression aux salles de cinéma parisiennes

Mais pour moi, en tant que journaliste et réalisateur de cinéma en exil, le plus important côté de ce festival est « la liberté d’expression ». Comme madame la Maire du 10ème arrondissement, Alexandra Cordebard, a souligné pendant son discours d’ouverture de ce festival, « la Turquie passe des temps difficiles ».

L’autoritarisme et la censure surplombent tous les domaines en Turquie. Malheureusement, cela comprend aussi le cinéma. Il y a beaucoup de films comme « Zer » de Kazım Öz ou « Tereddüt » de Yeşim Ustaoglu qui sont censurés par l’Etat ou bien autocensurés par leurs auteurs de peur de représailles. Et cette situation tragique crée aussi des situations absurdes.

Absurdité & Censure

Si vous voulez mieux comprendre l’absurdité de la censure qui se passe en Turquie, je veux partager avec vous ce qu’a expliqué Monsieur Öz, le réalisateur de « Zer » après la projection de son film pendant l’ouverture du festival.

Öz a dit que son film « Zer » est peut-être le premier film de toute l’histoire du cinéma où l’Etat a accepté de financer le long métrage pour après le censurer : rendez-vous compte, cette subvention du Ministre de la Culture Turque a financé un film car c’était proposé pendant l’époque de paix. Malheureusement, la diffusion du film a été au moment où la guerre a commencé. Conséquence, la conjoncture politique de la Turquie a joué un rôle de censure dans ce film. L’Etat n’a donc pas voulu sa diffusion sans censure alors qu’il l’avait subventionné.

Vous avez donc la chance d’être à Paris et  de voir ces films sans censure grâce au Festival de « Cinéma de Turquie ». C’est pour cette raison cette vision ouvert et position politique a coté de la liberté d’expression de ce festival fait Paris aussi un refuge pour le « cinéma de Turquie ».

Ce Festival peut faire plus !

J’espère que cette rencontre dédiée au cinéma de la Turquie peut enrichir les échanges entre la Turquie et la France du cinéma: dans le futur, on pourrait imaginer  des compétitions avec des rencontres entre professionnels de cinéma français et turque. Y compris, au niveau de la production pour développer des partenariats et peut-être avec la création d’un budget de subvention afin d’aider les cinéastes indépendants.

La programmation turque du festival à découvrir ici