Αγώνας
Damming the Euphrates
TURKEY, 2001, 26'
  by AGON - Tuesday, 3 January 2012

In June 2000 the world media gave extensive coverage to the flooding of the ancient city of Zeugma due to the Birecik Dam in Southeast Turkey. The waters of Euphrates slowly buried Zeugma, an important Roman city that had served as a link between Anatolia and Mesopotamia. By June 2001 Zeugma, meaning “bridge, link”, had become a name without a referent, a word that no longer conjured up a historic landscape but rather described 700m2 of high quality mosaics. This documentary tells the story of these mosaics as well as that of the people who were displaced from their villages and towns with the arrival of the dam’s water. As the mosaics are restored by an international team working in the Gaziantep museum, the scattered people of Belkis and Halfeti try to construct new social patterns in a landscape far from the pistachio gardens of their past. As the film raises debates around planned development, it asks how stories that have lost their contexts can once again situate themselves in a cultural framework, what new stories are born and what stories and mysteries are lost forever into the silent underwater of the Euphrates.


Director: PAXTON WINTERS
Producer: MELEK ULAGAY TAYLAN