Günce / Sokak Hayvanları

25 May 2021, Eda:

There are different ways that a city builds a relationship with the animals that it hosts. In Luzern, I came across many people walking their dogs, cats, and ponies. Yes, ponies. Also, saw a number of cats walking around on their own, but they sure had human families, a place that they were coming from and to go back. And for the dogs, there’s an organization in the city that a foreigner would notice right away. There are some “Toleranz” zones that owners may unleash their dogs so that they can run and play freely, and in many corners, it is possible to find dispensaries of dog waste bags, “hundesa?cli”. There’s even a small illustration on the bag showing how to use the bag to pick up the excrement. And on the boards installed there’s an informative graphic saying “Ich bleb an der Leine, den Kindern zuliebe.” -meaning “I stay on the leash for the sake of the children.”

In I?stanbul, maybe one of the first things a Luzerner would notice is the number of stray cats and dogs around. Cats are another story; but for the dogs it is possible to say that they usually rely upon the shopkeepers, mostly restaurants, a number of helping residents of the city and municipal services for bigger occasions. They hang around the places that they are welcomed, fed and not chased. Around the places that they find food and somewhat hospitality, they create their territories. That is also valid for the places around water like the seaside parks or around piers. It is possible to stumble on them lying lazily on the streets within all the chaos of the city. It wouldn’t be fair to say that they are all and always in very good shape; anyhow they are a part of everyday life. It feels interesting to be able to compare two cities’ different approaches, two kinds of toleration on the streets. One very strict and designed; one kind of spontaneous.

This is also a salut to the İstanbuluzern’s next scholars, Sandra Küpper and Christian Winker who will be in İstanbul this autumn; realizing their idea of telling the socio-political topic of “exclusion” as a fable in a poetic and whimsical exhibition. Protagonists of this documentary, at the same time also fictional representations are the street dogs of Istanbul.