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Once more, with feeling Mert Fırat & Harun Tekin


They don’t necessarily need an introduction because we know both of them very well. Mert Fırat and Harun Tekin are two names who constantly think and create, and never make do with their achievements. Thanks to their close friendship, they create and carry out many projects, primarily DasDas, together. They continue to introduce us to new worlds by expanding the borders of art and music.



As he is managing various projects focusing on civil society and entrepreneurship on one side and theatre and cinema on the other, Mert Fırat notes that it is his desire to contribute to society and the world which drives him forward. Along the road, he always explores new disciplines and embed them in his journey.


Kazak / Sweater: COS

Pantolon / Pants: Vakko by Berwich


You had likened your life to a jigsaw puzzle. Does this puzzle represent something that expands and transforms every day, or something that has each piece identified and becomes a whole when completed?


The puzzle is actually a metaphor about being open to change, and being able to shatter and put the pieces back when necessary. That’s why I associate this state of “being a puzzle” with me becoming one and expanding with each new piece. It’s a puzzle that evolves and changes as one learns new things, rather than assuming the shape of its container.


Your journey in acting continues with the foundation of DasDas. How would you, as an entrepreneur, comment on the industry?


For us, the industry has just come alive, to be honest. Theatre is an artistic discipline performed in public space so, in a way, it involves public service. We make a great effort to prevent it from being commercialised, but it can only be protected through the cooperation of the government, local authorities, and the

public and private sectors. Today, we have a theatre cooperative with active staff and over 120 members all across Turkey. I’m one of the founding members of this organisation. From that perspective, we see that the value of live performance is on the rise. While digital platforms, cinema, and television experience their own ups and downs, theatre has always positioned itself above this impetus since it’s gaining importance. Theatre cements people’s search for meaning. So, I believe that the industry has a long way to go in terms of investors, actors, and other labourers of art, and this journey will positively transform Turkey. The number of tickets sold used to be 6.5-7 million in the past; today, it has reached 10 million and going further up. I think it will get even higher.




Takım / Suit: Niyazi Erdoğan

Kazak / Sweater: Zara


It seems, with the foundation of DasDas, theatre and other associated disciplines of art have gained priority for you.


I love the theatre, and I’m highly interested in disciplines born from it but I also studied film. So, during the foundation of DasDas, we sort of took a break from cinema. We became closer to the position of the audience. We have projects in the making which will be launched towards 2023. Now, Kutu Film is also a part of DasDas, and we’re working on many shows and films there. I can say that we have achieved the structure we dreamed of. I’m also a part of IDEMA and INOGAR which focus on art enterprises. After five or six years, we have achieved our target ground. It has become a place where many creative industries come together to freely discuss their ideas and various perspectives. For me, exploring those different disciplines meant directing, creating ideas and stories for cinema, and design. I was already interested in new media arts. With the foundation of X Media, I have become a part of a new process in which I educate myself in new media. I don’t think in terms of one, single discipline. I think of the artist as multidisciplinary.


Each season, DasDas presents new plays and reinterpretations of its own production. Which project has excited you the most since its foundation?


One of the most exciting projects for me was Ben Varım. It’s a beautiful musical play with a lovely story. Nowadays, Joseph K. has become a favourite. I feel like they are all my children. We have a project titled Dünya Yerinden Oynar. It’s a funny musical comedy. It tells the story of seven women. Another one is called Benimle Dans Eder Misin. It’s an experience in which the audience will join us on the stage for 1.5-2 hours, perform along with actors, and explore all corners of DasDas while enjoying their meals and drinks and having a good time with their friends. I’m very excited about that.


Gömlek / Shirt: Valentino, Beymen

Pantolon / Pants: Docker's

Ayakkabı / Shoes: Zara


You keep on working and adding new achievements to your

record. Where do you find the inspiration and the energy?


I’ve been this way since I was a kid. I’ve always loved engaging in different things at once; I actually find it nourishing. I always do new things in order to learn. For me, one way to do it is not to be a perfectionist. They say, “Perfectionism breeds fascism.” I always try to let life guide me, to own both mistakes and success, to internalise both to keep moving forward. What helps me get out of bed every morning and act is the desire to contribute to society and the world we live in - both socially and economically. In order for our works to be sustainable, our industry to gain strength, and not to have the people of this industry from actors to workers exploited, we need consistent projects that will encourage us to act, and make a contribution to everyone. This is what motivates me.


We believe in the power of happiness. What does happiness mean to you?


For me, happiness is possible with a few people, or at least one. If you’re not a selfish person, your happiness depends on the happiness of a few people or your close circle. To me, it also means contentment; the feeling of peace, justice, and safety. You can be happy anywhere you feel good, peaceful, and safe. It cannot be granted by the greatest of achievements. You can be happy with the littlest things.


Takım / Suit: Niyazi Erdoğan

Kazak / Sweater: Zara

Ayakkabı / Shoes: Zara


We’re going through digital transformation. What’s your take on the digital world in terms of TV and film industries?


I believe digitalisation has significantly contributed to our lives. In terms of art, collections and artworks have become more accessible in all disciplines from modern art to cinema. Here, we need to think about the equality of opportunity and the right to Internet access. I believe, in the long term, the cost of the Internet should be reduced to very reasonable numbers, just like the right to water, and a new order should be established in which people can access information more easily. It’s a crucial transformation in terms of establishing equality of opportunity. However, we also need to care about the rights of artworks and the proper copyright production in addition to structures such as NFT that can create and strengthen its own economy and the block chain. Digitalisation excites me. I try to look at it more from an R&D perspective. I think it’s a significant opportunity for more people to benefit from education, health, food, and art on more equal ground.



HARUN:

Trençkot / Trenchcoat: Hatice Gökçe

Tişört / T-shirt: Zara

Pantolon / Pants: Torino for Vakko

MERT:

Gömlek / Shirt: Bottega Veneta

Tişört / T-shirt: Saint Laurent, Beymen

Pantolon / Pants: Torino for Vakko

Ayakkabı / Shoes: Zara


Harun Tekin, who has managed to fit numerous albums and projects in his music career for over 25 years, does not essentially restrict himself to the discipline of music. He writes, thinks, and talks about what’s on his mind. He says he would be swimming in “interdisciplinary” waters even if music had never come his way, and is in pursuit of exploring “worlds unbeknownst to us.”


Ceket / Blazer: Hatice Gökçe

Tişört / T-shirt: Zara

Pantolon / Pants: H&M


You’re active in many fields in terms of music and culture. What nourishes your creativity and what do you think you’d be doing if it weren’t for your connection with art?


I try to read, watch, and listen to as many different things as possible. We’re inclined to interact with the familiar - works and names we assume we will enjoy. I’m trying to break this habit and explore the perspectives that are alien to us but can also be useful as well as worlds unbeknownst to us. Under the current bombardment of content, we increasingly need the help of people for selection and curation. People who can comprehensively understand and interpret disciplines (even if they’re not experts at it) and their suggestions become more and more important. I try to find these and offer something similar for people who deem me valuable enough to follow for one reason or another. I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life when I was only engaged in music. Even songwriting is linked to two disciplines, literature and music. If music had never come my way, I think I would be interested in multiple disciplines as I am now.


Have you ever thought about writing anything besides songs? Do you plan on writing a book or essays?


I’ve always thought about it and tried it as well. I also have an idea - something I’ve recently been considering seriously. It’s not literary per se, more like a conversation. I tend to publish rather long posts on Instagram; if the book doesn’t turn out the way I intend, I’ll continue creating in that way.





Kazak / Sweater: H&M

Pantolon / Pants: COS


We discover new and unfamiliar sounds with each album by mor ve ötesi. How do you experience this process of exploration?


Before the listeners, we have our own moments of exploration. They can be planned or completely coincidental. You can stumble into something new whether you’re set on trying to find it or not. Then, you decide what to do with this “new” thing. You decide how to blend it with the familiar. How you create this blend both becomes your style and determines how you wish to present these new things, for example, new sounds or forms, and in relation to what. Do you want both the vase

and the flowers to be strange, one strange and the other normal, both familiar, or whether to put the vase in the flowers? Things like this.


Your journey of 25 years in art continues with mor ve ötesi. What do you think is the biggest element to hold the band together?


The fact that we’re people who boast different qualities that still make one another curious and surprising, mostly listen to different types of music but still believe in each other and this common ground, and have been through many challenges and love making music together.


Ceket / Coat: Emre Erdemoğlu

Tişört / T-shirt: Zara

Pantolon / Pants: H&M


Have you ever taken a break from writing and music?


There are times when I don’t write new songs. In fact, generally, I find it natural to take a break for a few years to rest, reflect, and collect, and then go back to writing new things. Our latest album Sirenler was born from such a process. I don’t think we’ve ever taken a break from concerts. I don’t remember a break longer than 4-5 months since the 2000s, including the pandemic!


On May 28, 2022, you performed at a stadium in Istanbul, which was the first in the city in a long time. It’s also been recorded in the history of Turkish music as the first solo concert for a Turkish rock band in a stadium and has been highly praised. How did you come up with this idea?


We started discussing it with the Beşiktaş JK in 2019. We hadn’t started to prepare for the new album and the pandemic hadn’t started yet. When the pandemic began, we didn’t lose anything from our desire for or interest in

this. It was always in the back of our minds. It was a grand dream that included great risks in every aspect. It would bring along a heavy burden without a sponsor, and meant for us to venture into implied and explicit hindrances. Since we had to wait for the decision to replant the lawn, all preparations and ticket sales were finalized in a shocking period of 45 days. It was an experience we didn’t give up on, one we were proud to realise, shared by tens of thousands of people who looked at one another with love. It was unbelievably challenging and magnificent -something to remember for the rest of our lives.



Gömlek / Shirt: Sezgi Tuzer

Ceket / Blazer: Emre Erdemoğlu



Ceket / Blazer: Hatice Gökçe

Tişört / T-shirt: Zara

Pantolon / Pants: H&M

Ayakkabı / Shoes: Zara


Gömlek / Shirt: Saint Laurent

Tişört / T-shirt: Zara

Pantolon / Pants: COS




 

FOTOĞRAF / PHOTOGRAPHY: BURCUM BAYGUT

FOTOĞRAF ASİSTANI / PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: MEHMET HALLA OĞLU, MURAT ÖZBEK (BOOM PRODUCTION)

STYLING: ZEYNEP SOYLU

STYLING ASİSTANI / STYLING ASSISTANT: MERYEM IRANIASL, PARASTOO AKBARI

SAÇ / HAIR: CEMAL KOŞAR

MAKYAJ / MAKEUP: BURCU TAŞ

PRODÜKSİYON ASİSTANI / PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: BİLUN ATİKKAN





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