i find myself in movement - Canan Marasligil
my reality is rooted in motion.
between places, languages, emotions.
constant and unpredictable:
i find myself in movement.
has been a part of me before I was even born:
starting in 1960,
when baba, then a young boy, settled with his family in Germany,
when omi (my maternal great-grandmother) too, migrated from Turkey to settle on German soil, alone with her son, leaving her newly married daughter behind.
anne (not Anne, no, but: aa-nn-è, “mother” in Turkish) was born in Turkey and that’s where:
Sibel and Abdullah, my anne and my baba, my parents
before moving together, from Istanbul to Brussels.
i was with them, then a toddler.
more than two and a half decades later came the time for me to leave a home.
by choice: my choice.
« tu viens d’où ? »
il y a toujours un accent sur les questions liées au mouvement.
je les préfère sans : le mouvement déclenché par le choix, ou, et non pas par le lieu, où.
i have created a home of my own in Amsterdam. i am still here twelve years later,
yet: i dream of other places
more than places,
it is the act itself that I long for:
the movement that creates a sense of belonging
movement is creativity.
this is why i dance.
i move, physically, between spaces and languages
i move, people,
they too, move me.
(i have the privilege to have acquired a European Union member citizenship next to my Turkish one in my early twenties. since then, my freedom for movement has been expanded greatly.)
not everyone has that same freedom,
and this reality angers me.
i wasn’t always aware of my yearning for movement until i was constantly reminded that:
in Brussels, I was never really “home”.
that my “language” was alien in this city where I grew up since my earliest memory.
what they insisted on calling my “mother tongue” came to me through body and gestures
– no wonder why she dwells deep in my soul –
she always appears in places where she doesn’t exist.
i see her everywhere.
all the spaces seem to be inhabited by her.
(or is she only in my imagination?)
that’s how the Welsh word for “stop” transforms into the Turkish word “purgatory”
in my mind (in my imagination).
even though I know that geographically, i am in the middle of a forest in Wales.
i long for her in so many ways, because
i was enjoined to reject her.
that language i was born into
has been made invisible for decades in these new lands where me and my family were just
i am here to reclaim her. to make her mine again,
and to make her part of all the geographies i inhabit.
i had no choice to learn and speak my hosts’ languages.
they too, are mine.
Turkish has become the mother of all my tongues.
and transformed me into the translator i am today.
i made translation my reality.
every moment of my life: i translate. words, sentences, sounds, images, feelings.
i find myself in movement,
both within my body and my mind:
i dance, i travel, i translate, i write.
in the many gestures of my thoughts, i find home.
i have turned my roots upwards,
i have created the possibility of being from nowhere
so that I could belong