Abdulkadir Aydın (65), a film theatre owner in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır (Amed), who has been in the business for 56 years, had his life’s labour shattered after his film theatre was destroyed during the 6 February earthquakes.
Aydın has been sifting through the debris of the Galeria Site, where earthquakes caused the most destruction in Diyarbakır, every day for weeks, searching for any remaining parts of the cinema hall and his personal belongings, including a 19-year recording archive, hoping to find pieces to exhibit in the future.
Aydın’s passion for cinema started at the age of nine at Dilan Cinema, the oldest cinema in the city, and continued uninterrupted for 56 years. However, his love for film, along with his belongings, now remains buried under the rubble.
Aydın was allowed to take some of his possessions before the building was demolished and now wishes to retrieve his memories from the debris. “All my labour was left in the rubble. That the dear things I created with my own hands remained under the ground really shook me. It had a great psychological and economic impact,” Aydın told VOA Turkish.
Aydın has been emotionally and materially affected by the destruction of his movie theatre and hopes to reopen it with help and support.
“I have filmmaking in my soul,” he said. “I am touched and saddened when I see the state of the dear things I have spent years creating.”