Celal Ekin, a Kurdish musician and an instructer at Dicle-Firat (Tigris-Euphrates) Cultural Association spoke to Mesopotamia News Agency, about their efforts to teach art in Diyarbakır (Amed) after the new Covid-19 restrictions.
Referring to the many difficulties that they had been facing to conduct their cultural work before the pandemic restrictions, Ekin said that they have been subjected to pressure of the Turkish government. After the pandemic, it has become even harder to organise the courses, to teach the students guitar, drama, folkloric dance and photography as such, according to Celal, but they will continue their efforts on teaching art with the online courses.
“Art does not recognize borders. Art is such a powerful tool that it can break down all systems. We believe that art will survive the pandemic as well and we will continue our works during the pandemic via the online courses with the strength from we get from this belief.”
Celal noted that their special focus is on Kurdish music. “We want to maintain Kurdish culture and keep it alive by teaching the music in our mother language in its right and pure form. It is not only the music, of course, but we also teach folkloric dance, drama and photography as well. We want to create something new, rather than simply copying the originals. There is a cultural erosion now. The powers do not merely ban Kurdish, but it uses Kurdish to create distortion in the Kurdish culture as well.”
The senior musician highlighted the importance of education of art, because teaching art “is teaching someone fishing, rather than giving them the fish. Each citizen in each house is a student for us in this sense. 30 years ago we had no cultural institutions. Then we opened Dicle-Fırat, they closed it down, we opened our institution again. And if they close us again, we will open another institution, but we will always continue our work of teaching art.”