As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
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CNN And Hello

Singing In The Rain



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CNN And ‘Hello’

That night I am interviewed live on Turkish CNN. The interviewer is a highly intelligent, warm and friendly woman, Ahu Ozyurt , who has a nightly show called “Gece Gorusu” (“Night View”) . I stand to one side and watch admiringly as she skilfully presents and links one news segment after another. Tonight most of them seem to be about violence in the streets; I cannot follow it all but there are scenes of demonstrations, counter-demonstrations and an atmosphere of tension, fear and reprisal. Ahu comments to me in the commercial break just before the interview that things should be getting more relaxed now that Turkey is gearing up to join the European Union, but the opposite seems to be the case. (On the way out to the airport at the end of our stay our student minder says firmly that he is against joining with the other European nations. We must stay independent and remember who we are, he says.)

Having watched CNN in a jet-lagged insomniac state late at night in so many hotel rooms around the world I am intrigued to know how it is to be on the other side of the cameras. I try to remember how intimate a medium television is, how every little sign of tension or insincerity shrieks out of the screen. I am as relaxed as I can be and, to my surprise, find that I really enjoy the experience of talking about the film to my host, and, through her, to the unknown audience out there, perhaps lying insomniac in their hotel rooms watching me as I chat about war and love and the telling of stories that might be useful, nourishing, or cathartic.

The next day I see a spread in the Turkish edition of “Hello” magazine (an interview done over the phone while I was in New York ) with several big photographs, and have a similarly hallucinatory experience. I usually look at Hello in airports, staring at the less flattering portraits, which often have an unselfconsciously revealing quality to them, intrigued by the language of the headlines and the lengthy boxed sub-headings which is the house style. How have I survived the transition into their pages? Their headline translates as: “Sally Potter: My new passion is to build a bridge between East and West”.

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Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated