No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven, unless its roots reach down to hell.
— Carl Jung


Project Axis Mundi

Project Axis Mundi is my life long project which is constantly evolving since 2001. My aim is to use a full spectrum of approaches on creating new form work within an interdisciplinary process.  

I am a storyteller, a playwright... Also I worked with performing artists all my professional career. My approach to dramatic art always involves both sociological, political and psychological study. I came to a point such that, I wish I could separate trauma from politics, especially interpersonal trauma. It is a vicious circle. My investigations make me realize that to break that circle we need to look the idea of "catharsis" closer. 

Dramatic art can create extreme change in emotions that results in renewal and restoration personally and collectively; this is “catharsis” as Aristoteles explained. When I study trauma with Bessel van der Kolk MD, he explains how human memory is a sensory experience and how traumatic experiences are lodges in the body. So in my creativity process and teachings I start to work with body more...

I had the opportunity to learn and study some ancient practices like Yoga, Gurdjieff Movements, Consapevolezza Corporea Dinamica (Dynamic Body Awareness - created by anthropologist & artist Martino Nicoletti), sacred dances, Latihan etc. from scholars who has experienced ritual practices from original sources such as Zulu and Amazon tribes, Sufi mystics and Shamans. 

All these exercises embodies a global approach to theatre studies, and a similar methodology is apparent in my own current investigation of movement practices. As trauma informed movement expert, I combine these ancient practices with other movement practices. I believe these works create a cathartic dissolution within; By moving you begin to be aware of a silent and creative point within yourself; being with silent and still, you begin to be aware of congestions within yourself. My ”dialectical" methods alternate activity and passivity, adapting elements of these teachings.

So I call my work Project Axis Mundi. Axis Mundi as a symbol metaphysical axis is a symbol found in every ancient belief system or mythology. It is a symbol representing the center of the world where the heaven (sky) connects with the earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. In Altaic Shamanic concept is anyone or anything suspended on the axis between heaven and earth becomes a repository of potential knowledge. With all the representations this symbol describe perfectly great interest to seeking knowledge. The symbol Axis Mundi expressing my artistic approach  most accurate way.  

I love to dive and study in new disciplines, I love to synthesis several fields like dramatic art, myths, rituals, neuroscience, yoga, kinesiology, movement and create something new. I keep learning and I keep sharing...

Ece Turkmut Dere