And on the stage were the workers
The III. International Workers’ Film Festival Evening took place on 7th May at the Emek Cinema hall in Istanbul’s centre. Workers, students and people from the poor neighbourhoods came together with famous intellectuals, artists and cinema workers and more than thousand people attended.
The program started with the short story of the festival in Turkey with three years and a spokesperson from the festival organization committee emphasized the contribution of the festival, which is organized under the theme of “Camera that sees labour, cinema that goes to the streets” in the increase of the labuor documentaries procured in Turkey. Previous years’ festival themes were: “Stories of Resistance Against Neo-Liberalism” and “Poverty, Resistance, Hope”. Then a short video film is screened about the Istanbul May Day protests of this year with different scenes of state terror and resistance from various parts of the city. (http://istanbul.indymedia.org/)
Together with the poems of famous revolutionary Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet* workers, trade union leaders, neighborhood organizations, workplace representatives of petroleum, health and shipyard sectors presented symbolic awards to singers, actresses, script writers, documentary film makers and cinema workers for their contributions to the working class struggle in Turkey.
Spanish film maker Fernando Leon Aranoa whose film Los Lunes al Sol is screened during this year’s festival and representative of San Francisco LaborFest Steve Zeltzer (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5643627279755532429&hl=en>) participated in the program with their video messages sent for the festival evening. Catalan film maker Montse Romani who participated in the festival with her film, “Work Narratives” emphasized the importance of labor film festivals for the independent activist-film makers.
The most exciting moment of the evening was during the reading of the message sent by ISM-Palestine representative Abdelkerim Delbeh who is prevented by the Jordanian authorities while he was coming to Turkey as a guest of the III. International Workers’ Film Festival and imprisoned in the West Bank. Palestinian flag on the stage and Delbeh’s message created great support and excitement during the evening.
Abdulkerim’s message is below:
Dear friends Eyii Akshamlar (Good Evening)
I was very sad that I am not with you this night although I tried hardly to join, but I was delayed by the Israelis and forbidden by the Jordanians.
Anyway this is a small example our great suffering since 60 years of NAKPA and 40 years under the illegal Israeli military occupation. In my name and in behave of ISM in particularly and by the name of all Palestinian people I would like to thank you all for all the efforts and solidarity with us, and with our strong beliefs of our rights and with the great spirits we have from you and all friends all over the world we will not give up and will continue our resistance until we achieve our rights of freedom and return.
The Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) is the result of the Western powers deciding upon the establishment of Israel, loyal outpost of their colonial interests in the region. Between 1948 and 1951, some 530 Palestinian villages were completely razed and 85% of our people have been expelled from 78% of our land to make space for the creation of a Zionist state with a Jewish majority. The continuous support and acquiescence of the international community make it possible for Israeli occupation and apartheid and the gradual expulsion of our people to continue.
We demand an end to the Nakba in Palestine!
• Let the 6 million Palestinian refugees return to their homes and villages, from where they were expelled!
• End Israeli apartheid and displacement of the Palestinian citizens of Israel!
• End the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the ghettoization of the Palestinian people behind the Apartheid Wall!
• End the siege on Gaza and free the over 10 000 Palestinian prisoners
We call for people around the world to organize actions in support of the growing movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
The program ended by a solidarity call for the imprisoned Egyptian el Mahalla workers and the worker-blogger Kerem el Beherieh with the screening of the short documentary about the 6th April revolt of the Mahalla workers in Egypt.
Festival program will end in 10 May Saturday in Istanbul with the special program for the documentary films about the Middle East and a public discussion about the Middle East working class movement and 60th Anniversary of al Nakba and the Palestinian struggle. The festival which is organized in between 1-10 May in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir simultaneously also started its journey to more than 20 other cities in Turkey and Cyprus during 2008.
* From Nazim Hikmet’s “Why Did Benerci Killed Himself?” long poem (1930-33) dedicated to Indian revolutionaries.
“The midwife woman from Cashmere
pulled me from the crotchs of my mama.
she swaddled with a ticket of cinema.
was of the third class.
put on her skirt,
his blue shirt,
we were put on the road…
The cinema that we go
have three doors:
In front of the first:
automobiles are jumping
British banks with franks are descending
In front of the second:
Small narrow shops
The third door is ours,
those deprived off from the means of production.
the policemen show their places
to the customers:
– Please, do sit down!
– Sit down you devil…
The lights turned off.
Musica started, machines turned.
On the screen
name of the film rotated:
(adventures of the twentieth century named
from an airplane with four wings
shook hanker chief to us.
On its collar capitalism
opened up like a pumpkin flower.
lengthened that the chimneys,
They were hanged on to the hairs of the
galaxies one by one.
Such a smoke came out, soot rained down that
On the sky even Allah
put on the angels plastics made in America.
A millionaire from Chicago
kissed from the wireless telephone
his lover in Tokyo.
In the electrified abattoirs
They put pastrami from one mouth of the machines,
From their other mouth
Cows with horns came out.
A geography teacher said in the lecture that:
“The sole problem of the negro from Senegal
is that his face is black.”
This news with such an uproar foamed that in Paris,
the ministry of colonies gave the directive,
powder factories started a production increase.
When the things happing in Paris were heard in London
immediately discussed and decided the House of Commons that:
“Those Hindus’ heads, who do not put tails up to their asses
Will be cut off…”
Just when the wirelesses were declaring this decision to India,
An enormous tail trust appeared in the city of Manchester.
In the northern pole, the Eskimos
When they saw these things are happing,
Not to put tail up to the ass
And not to change skins,
Started to drink okkas of Holland milk
in tiny Japanese bon china.
Over the rails long qatars are skipping,
Submarines, their fifty thousands tons sorts,
are carrying raw uncultivated land from the colonies.
are connected to each other with merchant houses.
In the middle of the Grand Desert
advertising towers are built.
Trusts are colliding with cartels.
bales, packages, sacks, boxes
Run from east to west and west to east…
The screen gone black, machine stopped.
the screen gone white, lamps burned out.
Just when the lamps burned out
A big noise tossed around.
I asked to my father:
– What happened?
My mama laughed.
And immediately my petty head
was covered by the pages of a book
falling from the upper stage.
I threw the book away from my head and looked up:
from the lodges of the British banks
throwing down on to us
their tons of silvered works.
Lamps gone off.
Musica started, machine turned.
On the screen
Name of the second section appeared:
“The Hindu pariah
The policemen put their hands onto their asses.
The first class muttered.
The second wobbled.
Shouted the third class
As big as a cry:
– coming, ming, ming… coming are ours…!
Like the submarine pouring into the moonlight,
The waves of the blue pants
covered the screen.
Started the parade
As long as Mississippi
As broad as Amazon.
Those working in the mines
riding on their diggers like horse riding all the fours
were running throughout tunnels
The Cashmere textile workmen
Singing songs from all of the mouths
and weaving a giant flag
putting wheel under the cities
made them pulled by trams.
onto their plastic gloves
from their silver hairs
had whirled the volts.
As clean as electric,
As swift as electric,
Passing are the ours
As long as the Mississippi
As broad as the Amazon…
While my head was chopping out over my shoulders
Hit in my stomach my father.
Now walking was on the screen
A suffering as strong as ten million tons:
Locked their hands in their pockets
their fingers in their noses
Slowly drifted, the army of the unemployed.
the ears of our eye pupils.
Smirked the first class.
The second, thought.
On the screen
A new writing appeared:
The policemen put on their Sunday cloths.
Applause rained from the lodges.
Salivated the second class.
Were needled to each other by the bodkins from our dailies,
Our palms flamed on,
Rushed out our eyes
From our nose holes.
Stared the parade:
The imperial uniforms
layed down on to the way
the tails of their bonjours.
Flags were pulled up in each station.
Rushed in the trusts.
On their head
were the hats of the bank kavasses.
They had fixed the factory chimneys
in the back of their ears.
Kilometres of lands
Were like rosaries in their hands.
Their mouths were hunting cartels up in the air.
From securities and bonds were their ties.
I counted these mountains with my finger
Appeared the flows of entrepreneurs,
All hold from the ears
of one or two factories.
They were walking like a circumcision child.
In between of all their crotchs
were the golden stake of the financial capital.
We also counted them one by one
with my mum…
The flow ended.
As we looked, onto the roads,
Were nailed from their belly holes, the prostitutes”