My 40th letter sent to Zehra Doğan

Zehra Doğan

Here is letter n°40 I just sent to Zehra. To avoid censorship, it was written in Turkish of course, avoiding all words that might “offend” a censor. The reason for publishing it here also is that, with growing international support, we fear increased censorhip against Zehra. Which, more than ever, must encourage us to write to her, and make public the proof of our mailings…


My Zehra,

Yesterday, I learned that some of your drawings were confiscated in October. Don’t be sad. In fact, the most precious part of your work, is when you think out, imagine, and invent techniques to get around the difficulties. Even if they take your work away from you, this will belong to you forever. You pencil, your paintbrush, your strokes, your colors, your compositions, your techniques evolve, Zehra… They go on maturing. Art isn’t static, on the contrary, it changes, it evolves, it transforms itself, just as Life does.

Look at the work of artists over a lifetime. Most of the time, they go through periods. Work from each period flows from a creativity finding fresh sources in different areas of research and techniques. Each work builds up like a bridge toward another, and sometimes, it opens the door to another period. Nothing is lost. You know the principle in chemistry: “Nothing disappears, all is tranformed.”

Don’t some artists choose the ephemeral as a mode of expression? Ice sculpture, sand drawings, balloons set loose in the sky, or allowing their compositions to get blown away by the wind… This is maybe a way to defy time. In fact, in ephemeral art, isn’t the temporary character an integral part of the work?

Last night, I consoled myself by interpreting your current artistic period as a “long-term performance”.

Keep on holding your pencil and searching for your red. In this way, short-lived works also become part of the story, like links in a lengthy performance. Especially if they are filled of  stunning strength, such as yours are. Outside and inside, life flows. May you colors also continue like a flood.

zehra dogan

Did you know your turmeric yellow has arrived and settled in our garden? It only shows up every five or six years. An important part of the leaves stay on the branches when the wind spares the beginning of winter… Which is the case, this year. A stroll in the woods during a turmeric autumn is magical. Especially if the sun shines through the leaves as if to say goodbye. Its rays pierce through branches dappled with yellow like brushstrokes, in an explosion of intense golden light, as if the sun were rising from the very trees.

This year, the trees await, arms open to the sky, with shimmering leaves. The ground is also covered in a blond carpet. But this morning, the sun missed the rendez-vous and we didn’t get to meet this flaming star. I would like to capture it for you. See, this “period” is also “ephemeral”. Because if the sun does not prove gracious, in a few days all the tree leaves will fall to the ground.

The Virginia creeper that covers the garden wall still holds a swarm of red leaves in its heart. But at the top, the branches cascading down like water are all bare. A fresh sadness slowly spreads all around. The last corners for the cats’ games of hide-and-seek are about to be all exposed. The garden is starting to take on its winter silhouette.

We haven’t raked up the leaves yet. We’re waiting for the earthworms and the insects to feast and make the soil fertile. There’s no rush. There’s a full winter ahead of us. And that is also a kind of long-term performance…

Afterward, from the grasses to the vines, from the dove to the ant, all the creatures will be reborn for a new “period” filled with free colors…

I embrace you, with the nostalgia of those beautiful days.

Naz

22.11.2017


The forest – November 2010

All the articles about Zehra Doğan :
(French, Turkish, English, Kurdish)


Türkçe : Zehra Doğan’a mektup n°40 Okumak için tıklayınız
Français : Ma lettre n°40 envoyée à Zehra Doğan Cliquez pour lire

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
iknowiknowiknowblog.wordpress.com

Traductions & rédaction par Kedistan. Vous pouvez utiliser, partager les articles et les traductions de Kedistan en précisant la source et en ajoutant un lien afin de respecter le travail des auteur(e)s et traductrices/teurs. Merci.
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Translation & writing by Kedistan. You may use and share Kedistan’s articles and translations, specifying the source and adding a link in order to respect the writer(s) and translator(s) work. Thank you.
Renée Lucie Bourges

Auteure, traductrice et interprète


Née au Québec dans une famille franco-irlandaise, elle a vécu et travaillé comme rédactrice et traductrice en Amérique et au Moyen Orient. Elle réside dorénavant dans le sud-ouest de la France d’où elle écrit des romans en anglais, et fraternise au quotidien avec tous les autres funambules de son espèce. Site Internet : iknowiknowiknowblog.wordpress.com


*A word to English-speaking readers: in all instances where the original text is in Turkish or Kurdish, the English version is derived from French translations. Inevitably, some shift in meaning occurs with each translation. Hopefully, the intent of the original is preserved in all cases. While an ideal situation would call for a direct translation from the original, access to information remains our main objective in this exercise and, we hope, makes more sense than would a translation provided by AI….


Renée Lucie Bourges

About Renée Lucie Bourges

Auteure, traductrice et interprète

Née au Québec dans une famille franco-irlandaise, elle a vécu et travaillé comme rédactrice et traductrice en Amérique et au Moyen Orient. Elle réside dorénavant dans le sud-ouest de la France d’où elle écrit des romans en anglais, et fraternise au quotidien avec tous les autres funambules de son espèce. Site Internet : iknowiknowiknowblog.wordpress.com

*A word to English-speaking readers: in all instances where the original text is in Turkish or Kurdish, the English version is derived from French translations. Inevitably, some shift in meaning occurs with each translation. Hopefully, the intent of the original is preserved in all cases. While an ideal situation would call for a direct translation from the original, access to information remains our main objective in this exercise and, we hope, makes more sense than would a translation provided by AI….

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