The Balcony and our Dreams (Balkon ve Bizim Rüyalar)

Image: still from film by Aylin Kuryel

Aylin Kuryel collected dreams about mandatory military service in her short documentary Dreams of Military Service (2017). Now, with her new video The Balcony and Our Dreams, she brings us into a selection of dreams dreamt during the current coronavirus outbreak. In Kuryel’s video, the longings, worries and desires that have been quarantined in the depths of mind come to the surface and interfuse with the sounds, music, applauses and protests from the streets below. Dreams permeate reality, and reality pervades dreams…

Image: still from film by Aylin Kuryel

Increasingly vivid dreams have been one of the common emotional responses to the pandemic, reportedly compensating for a lack of bodily and social encounters. Dreams are also capable of reflecting past and present political and cultural issues, desires and traumas, which Kuryel’s film also contemplates. Alongside the recounting of dreams, film imagery reflects life in a central neighborhood in Izmir during partial lockdown, including new forms of interaction between neighbors through movement and sound, the changing purposes of balconies as semi-public spaces, the re-purposing of masks as an everyday item, the emergence of new street vendors such as newspaper sellers, daily applause actions, the May 1st demonstrations, and the usual systemic police violence. Kuryel’s film thought-provokingly reflects upon how dreams become tools through which we deal with isolation/distance and connect to each other.

Turkish (with English subtitles)

Camera and editing: Aylin Kuryel

Editing advisor: Raşel Meseri

Sound mix: Fırat Yücel

English subtitles: Gözde Onaran

* This video was produced for Altyazı Fasikül: Free Cinema’s Looking Outside video series.

Tagged: #Affect #Arts #Domesticity #Emotional labour #Environment #Housing #Quarantine #State power #Surveillance

01 December 2020 — Aylin Kuryel

Aylin Kuryel

Amsterdam, Netherlands & Turkey

Aylin Kuryel is an academic at the Literary and Cultural Analysis Department at the University of Amsterdam. Kuryel is among the editors of the following books: Cultural Activism: Practices, Dilemmas and Possibilities (Rodopi Press, 2011); Resistance and Aesthetics in the Age of Global Uprisings (İletişim Press, 2015); Being Jewish in Turkey: A Dictionary of Experiences (İletişim Press, 2017). Among the documentaries Kuryel has directed are, Taboo (2009), Welcome Lenin (2015), Dreams of Military Service (2017), Heads and Tails (2019) and CemileSezgin (2019).