TOKI and Happiness


DVD Video, Pal 4:3, in color, no sound, with English and Turkish subtitles, 04'07'' Istanbul, 2009


TOKI and Happiness is a video piece that ironically deals with recent social housing developments in Turkey and the basic need for shelter for a person who lives in a city. The video is filmed in the Halkalı social housing area in Istanbul. Presently, TOKI (Housing Development Administration of Turkey) has constructed numerous new buildings around the outer zones in the city as well as throughout the country.

In this film, shoots showing the Toki Halkalı houses are presented. In texts that deliberately repeat the words “happy, so happy, very happy...” a person or perhaps -artist- ironically expresses his/her “happiness” that “finally s/he owns a house.” It is a basic right for people to live in a balanced and proper environment, but when it comes to lower classes, there is no other option than to be happy to have one of those houses. But these buildings are ugly and do not provide a better life –As we have learned from the history of social housing projects built since the middle of the 20th century, these types of housing projects create unhappy people instead. Elmas Deniz


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