Heidi Trautmann

Heidi Trautmann Column 12 - Let’s talk about culture and…society

Just recently I conducted an interview with a professional actress in Nicosia and at the end of it I asked her for her feelings towards society, if she feels a certain responsibility to admonish or make them aware of situations in their private or public life through their plays. No, she said, I cannot speak for thousands of individuals, they will all see it differently from each other, the only thing I can do is…do my best in my job and hope for the best via the morality of our plays and/or to have evoked some thoughts in them to think better of similar situations they find themselves in. That gave me food for thought. What is ‘society’? …It concerns a large social group sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Broadly speaking, a society may be described as an economic, social, or industrial infrastructure, made up of a varied collection of individuals…. Here it is, the key to a well functioning society: society is a bunch of individuals all trying to do their best for the sake of all. Does that not sound good? I mean it suffices to execute one’s job as good as one can without necessarily having to interrelate with other levels; that would already help to solve many problems. The next step would be to link the various levels to obtain lines of communication, where one station knows what the other is doing in order to avoid redundant activities. Great, an open transparent society…but where do we go from here? We have not come that far yet, otherwise responsible society members would not – in situations of critical situations – sit back and claim that it is not their ‘department’ and wash their hands off any responsibility. They would in the true sense of social understanding remove the obstacle/rubbish themselves. Yes, since we are talking about CÖP, we are all responsible for a clean image of our surroundings, all the individuals, the owners of shops where heaps of rubbish has not been taken away for days or weeks, the car drivers throwing bottles out onto the banks of the highway, thoughtless people who believe that society is a sort of a cow to be milked and to deliver their rights of existence…..We are living in a democracy nowadays…but are we able to take responsibilities? We are, at least some try to as I have seen lately, for example a group of young people working for and with disabled people: Sinem Ertaner, ceramist, lovingly teaching this group of people the wonders of ceramic for many years now, not only at EMAA’s Art Centre but recently also in public places such as Bandabuliya in Nicosia with the help of Ülviye Percini, art student and Mehmet Nevzat Erdogan, photographer, who is engaged in organisations such as Peace Exchange, Peace it Together, Youth Power, all trying to work together and bring to our awareness conditions in society that should be taken care of. There are also other young people taking care of disabled persons left on the side track of life such as Figen Inan and Neslihan who last year organized the march through Nicosia with 200 children, half of them disabled. See my website No. 295 under Cyprus Art News ‘200 Stars are born’. It is not done to donate money, it is the care the disabled need, to be shown that they are not left alone, and, as Mehmet N.Erdogan said; “we cannot take our people out for the simple fact that hardly anywhere you find toilet facilities or wheelchair access platforms. In the newly renovated building of Bandabuliya in Nicosia there are these facilities.” My compliment to the architects. There are for the moment regular meetings at the cultural space of Bandabuliya to continue the ceramic workshops with an exhibition in December.

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