Those Who Say Tea
    Those Who Say Tea

     5 minute digital video

    1998

    My research for this film began by asking whether or not the world can be divided into two groups: those who say ‘tea’ and those who say ‘çay’?  I did not attempt to scientifically answer this question, but used the idea as stimulation to begin conversations with strangers. For one year, I asked everyone I met whose native language was neither Turkish nor English to write their word for this substance in my notebook and to speak the sound for it into my tape recorder.  I used these materials to make an animated film.

    With this project, I hoped to emphasize the importance of dialogue in the art making process.  In reference to this work, Ann Musser, an art critique wrote, “…Here, language is shown as something that both opens paths for communication and simultaneously can shut them down.  The piece eloquently demonstrates how something as seemingly simple and unnoticed as tea, (which is virtually globally consumed), can be understood as a symbol of unity and relationship–such as between friends sharing a cup over conversation, and yet has such a rich history in its variety of specific cultural incarnations.”