After about a month of time expenditure and dedication, the new project website is finalized. Although there will be some adjustments occurring within the next two weeks (call it an adaptation period), the overall design has finally achieved completion. The work put into the making of the website has pushed the project behind schedule – especially regarding the post-production of the “Cagdas Yasami Destkleme Dernegi” documentary. Yet, if it were not for the assistance (and patience) of Ze Maciel, this new improved version would certainly not exist.
And in such spectrum of completed duties and future commitments, choice-making consequences have never been at higher stakes. After a series of fortunate events, destiny is currently presenting me with an opportunity to document the work of an organization in Burundi. In fact, just until two weeks ago, I was not aware such country even existed. Yet, after much research, I discovered that this African nation is among the poorest countries in the world.
At first glance, it seems to be an extraordinary opportunity. However, besides the astonishing poverty rates, Burundi is also an unstable and unsafe country. Even though the organization’s representatives firmly insist long were the days of brutal conflicts and political instability, after checking five different embassies and obtaining repetitive information (“we strongly advise you not to travel to Burundi at this time”), such decision becomes rather a thought consuming assessment.
Apprehension, reluctance and rationality strongly battle the more optimistic outlook of pure excitement. Both the project and the organization could benefit from such exchange – as well as the local population. Despite such comforting thought, I remain dubious; and in such unknown grounds, selfishness and self-sacrifice never were so clearly bordered.
Moving back to much more concrete Egyptian streets, I have been working with the “Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR).” Yesterday, we had our first meeting and after learning about their work, it became clear that their daily struggle is much needed amidst the population – including prisoners (more information coming soon).
The greatest challenge encountered thus far is the actual documentation of their work. Because freedom of speech is a rather delicate subject in Egypt, the content of the documentary will mostly consist of a couple interviews (including Mr. Hafez Abu Seada), which themselves should suffice for the lack of additional footage and present an interesting take on the global issue of human rights violation.
The organization additionally works to address the problem of over controlled freedom of speech. For example, I wanted to film on the streets of Cairo and even attain some testimonials from individuals that have been helped by EOHR. Yet, I was strongly advised to not attempt such feat. The police usually requires a permit to do professional filming in public spaces; and although I could potentially pull it off with my camera, I rather maintain the project within a secure path.
Limits indeed exist for a reason. Along this journey, I am starting to discover and understand my own limitations. More importantly than taking risks through the crossing of personal boundaries, thoughtful decisions usually present the better alternative. Hence, listen to the signs, follow the right path and allow destiny to become a limitless spectrum of possibilities.