I plant my seeds in here

Photo by Maria Kassab

I plant my seeds in here
Live performance and installation
7 hours
As part of “ The burdensome richness. Independant female and queer artists in Berlin”, curated by Alexandra Weltz-Rombach
Galerie Auslage, Berlin

For her* installation and live performance “I plant my seeds in here” Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu collaborates with Turkey’s Queer icon Jilet Sebahat (Razor Sebahat) to create a critical appreciation of the films “Madame X: An Absolute Ruler” and “Ticket of No Return” by Ulrike Ottinger while exploring an inclusive and intersectional feminist solidarity.

I plant my seeds in here” focuses on the topic of mobilization under European border policies and making a new home in a new place as a citizen of the “global south” moving to Europe.

Darıcıoğlu begins to question the immigration conditions of citizens from the “global south”, creating a critique of European immigration policy that goes hand in hand with approaching the baggage of the one’s immigrated. Adopting a queer-feminist, punkish stance to break through the victim discourse, the artist first appropriates a “dirty immigrant image” and appeals to some solidarity and inflammatory approaches from Turkey’s past and present as the baggage she* carries with her*. To this end, she* first turns to Kanto music.

The musical genre of Kanto, which brings together Western instruments with Eastern makams (melodies), has its roots in Istanbul of the late Ottoman period and was a landmark, especially for non-Muslim women. While Muslim women were not allowed to perform and sing for religious reasons, period and was a landmark, especially for non-Muslim women. While Muslim women were not allowed to perform and sing for religious reasons, the Kanto singers, the Armenian, Greek, and Roman women, standing against the morals of the time, did not give up making their own choices of their own free will, performing, singing, wearing revealing clothes, having lovers.

Photo by Maria Kassab

In “I plant my seeds in here” Darıcıoğlu remembers one of those women, Peruz: the first Kanto singer, Armenian songwriter, and composer who taught many women how to sing and perform and, it can be interpreted, carried solidarity among these marginalized women. While evoking Peruz as one of the feminist artists of her era, Darıcıoğlu appropriates her legacy in a queer-feminist way through the eight-hour live performance and multidisciplinary installation featuring a contemporary Queer icon: Jilet Sebahat (Razor Sebahat), the latest video work titled “So what?”.

The video work “So what?” by Istanbul-based Queer performance artist, DJ, and writer Jilet Sebahat is a queer cover version of the song “It’s called sex”, which is a parodic response to the women’s liberation of the 1970s by a Turkish classical music composer, Arif Sami Toker. While it sounds like a celebration of sexuality at the beginning, the lyrics quickly turn into ridicule of women. Jilet Sebahat, taking the song as a moralistic reaction against the liberation movement of the period, creates a response to the contemporary moralistic voice through re-writing its lyrics. In this way, they form a hussy-queer position against the binary gender system and transphobia, which is directed against heteropatriarchy throughout the world.

Through the collaboration between Darıcıoğlu and Sebahat, as well as the union of Peruz’s spirit, the women’s voice of yore, with current radical queer discourse, “I plant my seeds in here” gains a multiplex discourse that expresses a “stronger together” attitude, manifests solidarity within queer feminism, and queer appropriation of history. Thus, Darıcıoğlu readapts and prepares her* heritage through these appropriations, which can be seen as taking over the “seeds” to generate them.

I plant my seeds in here” creates a punky, queer, and floozy immigrant image and reverses the victimized perception of the diasporic subject concerning the immigration history between Germany and Turkey.

During the live performance, Darıcıoğlu eats seeds while lying on a platform covered with traditional “Turkish” blanket. On bottom, there is I AM HERE TO CRACK THE SEED stitched writing made by the artist with her* chewed immigration documents.

Photo by Maria Kassab

Jilet Sebahat’s video work “So what?” and short video of “I plant my seeds in here” can be seen from the following link: