Five minutes with… Mr. Sunshine

Arancia and Diletta

Mr Sunshine was invited in mid-October by the Israeli embassy to represent the country in Ankara, in an art exhibition which had the final aim of bringing different countries closer together. In fact the exhibit in question, titled “Artists without Borders”, was a diplomatic effort between the embassies of Austria, Israel and the Turkey to create a connection and collaboration between countries from all around the world.

Despite this, Mr. Sunshine was in Ankara as an artist rather than as an “ambassador”; the reason being that he was exposing pictures he took in Tel Aviv (city where he was born) and doing readings. Both forms of art enclose perfectly the title of the fair. As a matter of fact Mr. Sunshine’s photography finds its roots in the feeling of unfamiliarity with his own country: “when I go to Tel Aviv I feel like a tourist just like everyone else, I wanted to capture this in my pictures” admits our teacher. Same concept, yet very different, goes for his writing pieces. Mr. Sunshine gave us an example of journal he had written while going to Ankara for the art exhibition: “I saw two mothers, one was Israeli and the other was Turkish, but they both looked paranoid and worried. This made me reflect on how, even two women from conflicting and very culturally different countries, can be so similar”. Mr. Sunshine then said that he talked about this in his speech at the fair, using the episode as a metaphor to explain how, in the end we are all simply citizens of the world.

Alongside with bits of his funny, simple journal piece, he talked about how we should be creating a sense of community because human connection is a major part of our life; he explained how we should be demolishing the mental and physical borders that we create during our lifetime. To let people comprehend this, he used the example of being on a tram, surrounded by others and being glued to our smartphones, instead of focusing on the world around us and talking to each other. Freedom of speech also took up a big part of his declamation: we should be allowed to speak freely within respect of different norms of the society. Especially with the situation in Turkey where journalists are having a rough time trying to speak their minds. It is not a chance that the art fair wedged in perfectly with this part of the speech: what better way to express yourself than art?

According to Mr. Sunshine, it is extremely important to raise awareness about this topic especially in this day in age, because the  individual is under a lot of pressure from societal norm, and the tension between the two is increasing. We are often exposed to the public, videos are constantly being recorded and people nowadays love to capture every moment on film/camera.