Length and Format: 1h 15min Country: UK

Status of the Project: Postproduction/Wind Production

Director: Özlem Belçim Galip

Editor: Thomas Balkenkol

Cinematographers: Mehmet Ozgur Candan, Rojin Aslan Vesek, Umit Ozdal, Koray Kesik

Delivery time: 2021

Through the perspective of an Oxford academic woman, a Kurd herself, we see 7 powerful Kurdish migrant women living in three EU countries (Sweden, Germany and the UK) who challenge the stereotypical portrayals of Middle Eastern women through various artistic and cultural performances.

Story Summary & Synopsis

‘Anywhere on this Road’, an insightful documentary which highlights the lives and journeys of 7 Kurdish women moviemakers, scholar, theatre actors, artist, and public speakers and their struggle against the male-dominated cultural spheres in three European countries including Germany, Sweden and the UK. The story, dominated by road and journey images (referring to the migration and mobility of these women) both in Europe and Turkish Kurdistan, is reflected through the eyes of Oxford university scholar Dr Özlem Belçim Galip, a migrant woman herself in the UK, who travels back to her hometown (Şırnak, South East of Turkey) shows the destruction and war in her home country having led to these women to migrate to Europe. We see parallel journeys and constant travelling of her both in Europe and Turkish Kurdistan in a way of aiming to exploring the truth regarding the past and present time and her Kurdish heritage. While Ozlem’s personal journey as a child fled from war in her hometown, a teacher in a Kurdish village for several years, and her contribution to the Kurdish Studies at Oxford University is narrated throughout the documentary, the stories of other 7 women in different European cities are also narrated by Ozlem in parallel, in an observational and expository mode of documentary.

The film will take place in a number of different European cities (e.g. London, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Nuremberg) and various cities of South East of Turkey (Diyarbakir, Mardin and Şırnak) and the viewpoints of seven women characters based in these cities in separate episodes including the personal story of Dr Galip both in Oxford where she is based in and her hometown Şırnak, the 70% of which was demolished in 2016 related to political conflicts and completely rebuilt by state backed housing developer (TOKI) leading to the loss of the historical and cultural heritage of the city.

These stories of these strong women will be approached with optimism, levity, humour and sincerity. The aim is to shine a light on our characters’ journey through the visits of the narrator, unravelling their complex history and how today they are settled and making a positive impact on social policies and public awareness. Their independence, compassion, strength and endurance should empower the rest of the society they live within. This will positively reaffirm the importance of immigration and ultimately help us break prejudices, empower women, change misconceptions of Middle Eastern women in a bid to integrate society and spread a message of peace and politically harmony.

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