MisplacedWomen?

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A day with Tanja Ostojić

In Performances, Stories, Train Station, Workshops, Zürich on March 6, 2021 at 9:09 pm

[Please read the original text in Sorani Kurdish language below]

[Translation to English]

A day with Tanja Ostojić

My name is Azad. I am a political refugee. I had to come to Switzerland from Kurdistan, with everything left behind. The land where I was born is a prohibited geography. Our language, culture, literature and art are forbidden.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

As someone who lived through all these bans, I met Tanja Ostojić one day. My view of art and performance has changed because of the experience with her Misplaced Woman? performance project. Ostojić broke all the narrow moulds on which women were placed, taking them out of an object position and giving them a completely different breath. It had revealed an important contradiction. She sent a message to the male dominated society which misplaces women in every sphere of life.

We all opened our bags and suitcases that day. Because capitalism first chains people with a bag. Then it squeezes our lives into it. It’s like we can’t live without that bag. All of our belongings are in it. This created awareness of humanity’s dependence on material things.

There are taboos in all societies. Why is there a fountain in the main train station of Zurich, decorated with blue light, which resembles a waterfall? The fountain is a taboo. Nobody should touch it. But there are no taboos for Ostojić. She stood under the water with her umbrella. She looked at shoe brands in the store and inspected them.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

That day we made a performance under the blue waterfall. I felt very free. I stood under the pouring water with my umbrella. I was very excited. I loved to be able to stand below the water because it was a socially forbidden place and therefore it seemed attractive to me. I was wet but it felt good.

We went to a shoe store. I even looked at the brands of shoes in the shop there. Together with the others of the group I was reading aloud where the shoes had been produced. We lifted the bottom of each shoe and read their place of production and mostly they were made in China, China, China. Then Ostojić gave the shoe seller an advertisement for a family poster. Me and some others followed her lead. 

We unpacked our suitcases.  All our luggage was gone.

With Misplaced Woman? Ostojić creates different images of women by opening up new possibilities, new spaces. It is not a woman in a kitchen, not a woman in the bedroom, but a woman imagining a blue sky.
A woman is not an item, which would fit in a suitcase.

Finally, I would like to conclude with the words of Simon de Beauvoir: “Suddenly in the kitchen, where her mother is washing dishes, the little girl realises that over the years, every afternoon at the same time, these hands have plunged into greasy water and wiped the china with a rough dish towel. And until death they will be subjected to these rites. Eat, sleep, clean … the years no longer reach toward the sky, they spread out identical and grey as a horizontal tablecloth; every day looks like the previous one; the present is eternal, useless, and hopeless.” Beauvoir asked herself if she will be able to live like that while placing the plates in the closet, and she said to herself, ‘no’. 

Tanja Ostojić taught us to say “No” to the male dominated, capitalist world.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Yours truly,

Azad Colemêrg

July 11, 2019.


Azad Colemêrg is currently studying cinematography at the University of Zurich. He was born in 1988 in Kurdistan, near Colemêrg, in the very east of Turkey. Azad Colemêrg has been based in Switzerland since 2018 where he received a status of a political refugee in 2019. Before he had to flee the country, he had been working as a school teacher in Kurdistan and in Turkey.

Read more about Azad’s life

Performance intervention by Azad Colemêrg on April 4, 2019. has been realised in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić at the ZhDK, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, in Zurich, April 2-4, 2019. 

Text written by Azad Colemêrg on July 11, 2019.

Edited by Tanja Ostojić and Olivia Jaques

Published for the first time by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? blog

Video-stills by contact zone (Andri Schatz, Azad Colemêrg, Demian Jakob, Irem Gungez, Jan Stolze, Livia Thommen, Mercedes Borgunska, Olivia Jaques, Santiago Pina, Severin Hallauer, Zoe Wagner)

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Rojek bi Tanja Ostojić re

Navê min Azad e. Ez penaberek siyasî me. Ez ji Kurdistanê, kû her tiştên wî qedexe kirine, hatime Swîsrêyê. Axa ku ez lê ji dayik bûm welatekê qedexe ye. Ziman, çand, wêje û hunera me qedexe ye.

Ligel wan qedexên min dîtiyan da rojekê min Tanja Ostojić nas kir. Nêrîna min a huner û performansê de guheriye. Ji ber ku Ostojić performansa navê xwe „Misplaced Woman?“ da hemî qalibên teng ên ku jin tê da hatibû danîn, şikand û wan ji objeyekî da derxist û jiyanekî nû dida. Bal kişandi bû ser dubendiyek girîng. Wê peyamek dabû wan mirovên kû ewên jina li jiyanê da her dem cihekî xelet da dibînin.

Me hemûyan wê rojê  çente û valîzên xwe vekirin. Ji ber ku kapîtalîzm pêşî mirovan bi çente zincîr dike û paşê jî jiyana me dike wê çentê da. Wek ku em bê wê nikarin bijîn. Her tiştê me tê de ye. Wê agahdariyek dida mirovan ku jîyana me girêdayî objeya ye.

Di hemû civakan de tabû hene. Çima li rawesteka bajêr da ku wek sûlav bi rengek şîn da avek çêkirine? Ji ber ku ew tabû ye. Kes nikare destê xwe lê bide. Lê ji bo Ostojić tabû tine. Ew  bi sîwanê xwe ve binê avê de sekinî. Wî li firoşgehek cilûbergan li marqeyên pêlavan dinêrî û dixand.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Ez bi sîwanê ve binê avê de rawestiyam. Wê rojê em bin sûlava şînda rawesteke da sekînîn. Min xwe gelek azadî hesiya. Ez gelek coş bûm. Min hez dikir kû ez bêcil bin avêda bisekinim. Lewre cihekî qedexe bû û ji ber wê ji min ra şêrîn dihat. Ez ter û av bûm , lê belê hêsekî xweş bû. Min li pêlavfiroşek da li marqeyên pêlavan dinêrî û me ligel yên din marqên pêlavan dixand kû kîderê berkêşandin e. Em çûne cihekî pêlavfiroş. Mê binê pêlava ra mezinand û marqe wan dixwandin û me digot marqê çînê çînê çînê çînê Paşê jî wê pêlavfiroş da reklamekî da posterekî malbatekî hebû. Me jî wan teqlit kir. Em wek wan sekînîn.

Me çentên xwe xalî kirin. Çi tiştên veşartî li çentê ne man. Her tiştên me holê ra bûn .

Ostojić li performansa xwe yan „Misplaced Woman“ da jinên kû mitfaxê û cihê razanê da derxist û xewnekî bi asmana şîn dida wan. Jin ne ewe ku li çenteyekî da cih bigire.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Di dawiyê de, ez dixwazim bi gotinên Simon de Beauvoir biqedînim: „Rojek min alîkariya firaxên dayika xwe dikir. Diya min tebex dişûştin, min ziwa dikir. Ji pacerêya mitbaxê, cihên agirkûj û mitbaxên xaniyên din xuya dibûn. Li van mitbaxan jî, jinên din tawe firkandin , qûşxane spahî dikirin, sewzî vebijartin. Her roj xwarina firavîn, xwarina şîv, her roj firax; her roj paqijkirin; Ew karê çinehî bi saetan dirêj dibûji çinebûnê pê ve bêdawîtiya ku nagihîje tu derê. Ji çinebûnê pê ve jî bêarmancekî bêdawîtibû. Gelo ez ê karibim wusa bijîm?  Wek min tebex li dolavê cih digirt, min go te xwe  „Na“ Jiyana min bê guman dê bigihîje cihekî.”

Tanja Ostojić fêrî me kir ku em ji cîhana serdest a mêr û jiyana kapîtalîst re „Na“ dibêjin.

Silav û rêz

Azad Colemêrg

11 Tîrmeh 2019

Azad Colemêrg niha li Zanîngeha Zûrixê sinematografiyê dixwîne. Ew ji 1988an li Kurdistanê, bajarê Colemêrg ê, li rojhilatê Tirkiyê ji dayik bû. Piştî ku xwendina xwe qedand li Kurdistanê û Tirkiyê Mamosteyê dibistanê xebitî. Piştî hingê neçar ma ku ji welêt derkeve. Ew ji 2018an ve li Swîsreyê dijî, 2019an de statuya penaberiya siyasî stend.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone
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