Our guest today is the Turkish writer Burhan Sönmez. @brhsonmez
BURHAN SÖNMEZ is a Kurdish author writing in Turkish. He used to work as a human rights lawyer in Istanbul before going into exile in Great Britain following serious injuries inflicted by the Turkish police. His books have received prestigious literary prizes. He now lives between Istanbul and Cambridge.
Interview recorded in English and available in English or French. French dubbing : Émilie Ferreira
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Burhan Sönmez's latest book "Labyrinth: a novel" has been published by Gallimard. @editions_gallimard
Burhan Sönmez answers our ritual question: “What does it mean to have rights?” and then talks about his exile and his expectations for his return. He discusses how he began to write novels without having premeditated it (7'45). He explains his distinction between memory and history and meditates on the conditions of African-Americans in the United States (9'30). Burhan offers his point of view on what oppression from one generation to the next in Turkey has brought about (10'45). He takes us onto the field of identity and freedom and reveals the opportunity for the hero of his latest book to free himself through amnesia (15'). Does Burhan Sönmez feel safe in Turkey? He develops on the subject, saying the worst of all is "social amnesia". This leads us to forget that migration flows are the result of the actions of political leaders, that these flows have not always followed the same direction and, above all, that when we talk about migration flows, we mean human beings (17'). Burhan Sönmez talks about the press in Turkey during the Erdogan era and the term "pinguin media" which the Turkish people used to describe the information channels controlled by the government. Burhan Sönmez shares an anecdote about what he took with him when he left Turkey thinking that his end was near (22'45). He gives a definition of art, then reacts to Martial Mingam's work Trame visible on the site www.utopia3ch. To close this meeting, Burhan Sönmez evokes the blues and what this music means to him.
This first season of utopia3 was produced in collaboration with the FIFDH and recorded in the studio The Spot Podcast Factory. @fifdh.geneve @thespotgeneva
Photos © Miguel Bueno
Davide Rodogno: editorial direction and interviewer
David Brun-Lambert: editorial direction and interviewer
Martial Mingam: art direction
Julie Noyelle: coordination and communication
Julien Babel: artist and co-creator of the independent creative laboratory non-profit utopia3
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#gallimard #turkey #writer #novel #identity #memory #geneva #fifdh #burhansonmez