memory of light

memory of light

Film Essay

Duration: 60mins.


Kammari Residency, Treis Elies, Cyprus



Stills from the film:

This film was made during the Kammari Residency at Treis Elies, Cyprus. I wanted to document, accumulate and make an archive of people’s memories and philosophies which are close to our everyday lives. I was inspired and intrigued by the everyday discussions at the residency: gatherings, dinners, playing music, watching films and reading together, among other things. Treis Elies is a small mountain village isolated from the rest of the world by having it’s own small community, sense of time and way of life. It is also called Eco-village because of many young educated people shifting from cities to the village for organic farming. Here, I was dealing with an inner silence magnified by the natural surroundings, the nature walks, camping and watching shooting stars, lunar eclipse, listening to minute natural sounds and the pitch darkness of the mountains. It all combined and materialized through this film. It is not a documentary or fiction, it is a poetic film essay which encapsulates my time in the residency and how my perception was shaped through the constant dialogue with others. The film is grounded on 4 basic questions which were given to 12 people:

  • Describe a situation in your life in which you feel something changed in you significantly?
  • When you hear the word silence, what memories come to your mind?
  • Describe an experience when you felt a deep relation with time and space in Treis Elies. How would you describe the passing of time in that moment?
  • Describe a situation which you would want to go back and change in your life.

The film is titled memory of light because of my relation to the space and the people, I experienced time not through the linear clock, but through the changing light. It didn’t matter if it was 3am or 6pm, Sunday or Tuesday, January or July, every memory was marked by the intensity of light, the sound, the smell pouring in on me in that moment.
Each encounter was filled with revelations, not only about the interviewee, but about a common human condition where we deal with similar problems everyday, but rarely talk about them. I filmed the hands of each person; they are as expressive as the face, reflecting each person’s distinct character without the direct confrontation served by the eyes. Each memory is bereft of an identity, of a face, and thus becomes relate-able to the viewers as their own. Can someone else’s memory become real to us if it is spoken again and again? Can we store memories and ideas of common people as an archival material? This poetic film tries to capture the memories and philosophies of people who can be me or you.