The Epigenetics of Joy, is an operative term by which to resist the accumulation of trauma: the possibility to heal and recuperate knowledge and memory through audiovisual objects, and in dialogue with each other: a memory collective.
Ahu Öztürk’s short film, created in response to and about the residency, exemplifies just such a healing mechanism. The film is bookended by shots of Ahu’s children and her mother playing together. Ahu’s sense of guilt for leaving her children back home with their grandmother in order to come to Olot is part of that “invisible self” that makes it possible for another part of her to be a professional filmmaker. In Catalunya, she finds solace and solidarity in her mirror image, as she is hosted by Simona, another woman who leaves her daughter with her own mother in order to attend the residency.
The short video becomes a personal account of the residency, without romanticising feminist solidarity across language borders (“Who are these women? Sometimes I understand them, sometimes I don’t”), presenting it, instead, as something to build and care for.
The role of filmmaking is vital in this process: as she says, we all dream of cinema and we infect each other. In the end, she concludes that solidarity consists, sometimes, in being able to entrust our existence to each other.