African Women Voices
It took us almost ten days to embrace camera and microphones, and we did only because
the person we were going to interview was leaving the day after.
The very first day of shooting of (IN)VISIBLE CITIES happened between the neighborhoods of Kumkapī and Aksaray in Istanbul. These are two areas where many African migrants are. Aksaray is rather a business area, filled with shops of all kind especially clothes and baby accessories. While we saw african men selling watches on the pavements, we also met some buying Louis Vitton’s bags.
Kumkapi is different: we were welcomed by a colorful open air market only repaired on the top by some plastic linen. On the stalls not only they were selling fresh vegetables and fruits but clothes, shoes and other things. Out of the market the area looked much poorer although not favelas-like. It only looked humbler but not as unlivable as we were told. Our contact didn’t feel too comfortable being filmed there, maybe because it’s always challenging to learn about the mood of people and quarters: would they mind if we film around? Would someone come and punch us because we stole their images through the camera?
Nothing like that happened, instead we welcomed in French by a Turkish man and an African one.
The incognito of to film or not to film though is the reason why we build a relationship with people, explain why we’re making a movie and a research on the African Diaspora and then ask if we can film them. It’s a slightly longer process but it’s worth every second of it.