08/10/2019 | Writer: Aslı Alpar

Oya Burcu Ersoy gave the opening speech of the International Memory and History Conference organized by Kaos GL Association.

"Difficulties add value to everything" Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

The International Memory and History Conference organized by Kaos GL Association opened in Izmir on September 27th. Oya Burcu Ersoy gave the opening speech of the conference.

Oya Burcu Ersoy said, "When no one talks about you, you do not 'disappear'. But the only way to prove that you exist is to talk about yourself."

Ersoy said that this is not easy, "In 1999, you do not have internet, you are plundering libraries, there is no such a resource existent, there is no history," and took the participants on a journey in their personal history.

“We were always there”

In her speech, "We are in the 25th year of the Kaos GL Magazine, the first edition of which has been edited on the computer at Ali's workplace and duplicated on a photocopy machine. Mine's first attempt for a Pride March, which followed by threatening phone calls, was 26 years ago," said Ersoy, adding that "we've always been there, but as the neighborhood's faggot, the tomboy, the queer, ridiculed as a source of amusement" but Ersoy stated that with the power of these stories, they got together.

"We are here in Izmir today to show that the prohibitions cannot stop us, that no one can stop us from accumulating our memories, and that we will continue to carve our memories into history" said Ersoy and ended their speech by "it takes courage to make your own personal history be a part of the struggle and hardships adds value to everything".

The story being told is your story too…

The Workshop prior to The International Memory and History Conference has come to an end. The conference that set off with the call of “Maybe the story that is being told is your story too. Maybe we are tracing something together, maybe we sang songs told stories to leave a trace. With respects to the ones that we walked together, to our separating paths, and to lives that gushes from letters…” continued till September 29.

*Photography: Umut Güven, Semih Varol / Kaos GL
**Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz


Tags: arts and culture, life
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