Ece Merve Terzi is 29 years old and is now in semester 5 of her studies for a B.A. in Photography. And thanks to a scholarship, for this semester she now has to pay for no more than half!
She now tells us in an interview about her outstanding work for the scholarship and about herself:
Congratulations on your award! Did you expect it?
Thank you very much; I really am very happy about it. You can’t count on it, but of course I had hoped for it.
What is your work about? What did you want to express with it?
My work is very varied since I move between different fields of photography. But they all develop from a concept aiming at the greatest possible authenticity.
The Unveiling (Die Enthüllung) (Berlin, 2017)
In this work I’m trying to draw attention, through a reversal of veiling, to the lack of equality in Islamic society, by unveiling the woman and veiling men instead. A mosque scene is presented via a projected image, through which I want to show women and men the outdated conventions and guidelines of their religion and challenge them to question the motivations by which they allow their lives to be determined by their religion.
Sculptured Genders (Berlin, 2017)
Fashion Ana López | Models Beni & Max | Make-up Elisa Sankowski
This series of photos was created as part of the Fashion Photography course with Katrin Thomas in an attempt to represent androgynous sub-culture in the context of fashion. Androgyny can be used to mean “overcoming sexual boundaries”, i.e. role identities. Its origin is to be found in mythology: “androgyn” comes from Greek and is a combination of the words “andros” and “gynä”, which designates as dual gender the unity of man and woman.
It is an attempt to overcome dichotomy and to achieve a true harmony of the sexes. This has been considered, from as far back as ancient mythology, the ideal of human existence. But it is hardly feasible to break down the standardized sexual forms. Androgyny visualizes an even balance, homogeneity of masculinity and femininity. With the former Stasi prison in Hohenschönhausen as the backdrop, the idea was to depict uniformity as both a unity and also a contrast, thus expressing the ambivalent connection between androgyny and uniformity. This is intended to illustrate both the escape from uniformity and also the impossibility of being able to break completely from conventional gender identities. This aspect visually represented by the statuesque postures and by the simultaneously uniform, free, and elegant clothing, thus producing a unity of male and female features.
My personal Superhero - Sofie (Berlin, 2017)
Sofie is one of the most beautiful people that I know. She has a pure soul and a natural beauty that I particularly love. A few months ago she became a mother and during her pregnancy I was able to observe how she assumed this role with completely naturally – as if she had always been prepared for it. Sofie is a person full of love and an inner tranquility that she transmits to others. I wanted to depict this characteristic in her portrait by alluding to Maria, mother of Jesus. For me Sophie carries within her something that seems divine, and I wanted to highlight this through the blue and gold colors of the clothing. By showing her breast-feeding her child in her own kitchen I was trying to express the instincts and naturalness that Sofie has reinforced through her motherhood.
Why do you think you deserve the award?
I think I had a strong portfolio, which contains a very varied range of work, and in addition my social commitment, both on and off campus, has played an important role in the decision to award me the scholarship.
In one sentence: What has your time at UE been like?
I would describe my time at UE so far as very stimulating and multi-faceted, because I’m trying to get as much as possible for myself out of the different courses, so as to develop and to solidify my artistic work.
Do you have a UE highlight story that has stayed with you?
Hmm, there are several highlights, but one was definitely the trip to Lebanon during the Project Week in May 2016 that was organized by Prof. Matthias Leupold and Marie Séférian. In particular I will long remember, however, the moment when finally, after many months of work, we held in our hands the printed magazine of the current edition of Fnder #5 re-beirut.
Creativity knows no bounds. What has been the most daring thing that you have done during your studies?
I think the most daring thing that I have done so far during my studies is my last work ‘The Unveiling’, which I developed in the Scenic Photography course. Both technically and thematically this was a new challenge for me. It picks up on a theme that is critical of society and religion, whereby I’m trying to draw attention to the lack of gender equality in Islamic society. At the same time it attempts to express that it really is time to rethink antiquated conventions and to adapt to the times – to question to what extent we allow the one life that we live to be determined by religion, and in particular the reasons why.
Create your story. Inspire the world. Do you have a dream, what are your plans? With what do you want to inspire the world?
Of course, I have dreams, but above all I would also like to stay realistic. My greatest wish – my goal – is to be happy with what I’m doing and with the person that I am and that I am developing into. In the best case I can then also inspire other people in this world through my personality and move them somehow or other through my work.
Tell me honestly, do you already have some ideas for the time after you leave UE?
No, I still don’t have any concrete ideas. We’ll see, only time will tell.
At this point, I would now like to wish you all the best and congratulate you on your scholarship!