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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Playing Pygmalion

"Chasing Rainbows" by Ned, writing from Istanbul, Turkey

Hello, Ned Pamphilon typing again; the artist proposing the painting of 7 rainbow colours upon the underside of the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul. My current working project is Learning Turkish - Türkçe Öğrenmek inspired by the 1964 film My Fair Lady and I recently approached the organizers of Live Earth Istanbul about the Rainbow Project.

The Story So Far

"What could possibly matter more than to take a human being and change her into a different human being by creating a new speech for her? It's filling a deepest gap that separates class from class and soul from soul."
Professor Higgins, My Fair Lady (Based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion)

Instead of teaching English to an Englishwoman, this psychological study in human behaviour aims at the teaching and the understanding of a foreign language, Turkish, to that bastion of the island race caught in a linguistic desert: an Englishman.

After remaining in my linguistic bubble for over a decade in Turkey, I at last found a co-producer, Maker Arts, for this project whereby we are documenting on film the process of "Learning Turkish". The concept of the project, is to educate, entertain and generate some fun for everyone involved. In the initial pilot-teaser film you can watch me trying to grapple with the locals in their language.

The project is inspired by My Fair Lady, the 1964 hit-musical starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. In it a misogynistic and snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society. Instead of teaching English to an English women, we aim to teach Turkish to an Englishman.

We are still actively seeking young, attractive, intelligent Turkish girls with "factor X" (whatever that may be) to talk to me during the process i.e. we require our own Audrey Hepburn, although in effect she will be playing the Professor Higgins role of teacher because I'm in effect Audrey, if you see what I mean!? Turkish daily life is so full of men, so we very much want to highlight the fairer sex - since women were given the right to vote in Turkey before most European countries, yet still the government and upper hierarchy is male dominated.

NPP continue to propose the Rainbow Bridge

Live Earth Turkey organizer Cengizhan Yeldan expressed in Tempo magazine recently he found it meaningful that July 7, 2007 was chosen because there are seven oceans and seven continents in the world.This project still awaits permission and recently I approached the organizers of Live Earth Istanbul, since the City of Istanbul is one of several official Live Earth concert events on 07/07/2007. They love the Rainbow Bridge concept and are onside in trying to realise the project to paint the 7 colours of the rainbow beneath the Bosporus Bridge. They are already referencing the 7 Synergy.

Live Earth Turkey organizer Cengizhan Yeldan expressed in Tempo magazine recently he found it meaningful that July 7, 2007 was chosen because there are seven oceans and seven continents in the world. Yeldan stated that Turkey also has seven neighbours and Istanbul has seven hills. He indicated that they were trying to have the Bosporus Bridge painted with the 7 colours of the rainbow.

If you want to support either the Rainbow Bridge or Learning Turkish projects, may I suggest you e-mail/lobby The Turkish Daily News and perhaps they will further present the ideas to the Turkish media and public: TDN Istanbul, TDN Judson, David and TDN Nelli, Tommaso.

Further Information

  1. View the Ned Pamphilon Learning Turkish Teaser Promo at YouTube.
  2. Read TDN's article on my project: "British artist is Turkey's Audrey Hepburn".
  3. Follow recent events by accessing "The Story So Far".

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