Aida Kozar - my roots are my wings
An interview with the theatre actress Aida Kozar about her passion for photography and the story behind it.
First question: What do you want to express with your pictures?
Aida Kozar: I am a theatre actress. Photography – as part of my work on the stage is important for me from several perspectives.
One perspective is that photography gives my artistic expression a wider and deeper meaning. A photo does not show only an actor on the stage. It shows the stage as well, situations, feelings, stage set design, and costumes. Another perspective includes the previous one : a photo is catching the ephemera of theatre – art which is lasting only while theatre piece is lasting. If you had luck being a part of good performance your art will last several hours or maybe several days more in the thoughts of your audience. In a certain way it is nice feeling being aware of the flow of the moment, ephemera of theatre was helping me to live mindfully and more intensely. But still – I love to have memories of those moments on stage. And I am happy to have them.
Second question: How did you get into photography? When did you start?
Aida Kozar: When I am not on the stage, I try to keep my fantasy fluid by putting myself into different written, audio other visual challenges. Photography is my favorite fantasy challenge where I put myself into personal „stage“ circumstances: using things from daily life as requisite, sun as light, shadow as conflict and my clothes as costume. I try to combine all those circumstances into compositions which tells me a story I love to see.
Third question: What is your favourite photo and why?
Aida Kozar: My favourite photo is „My roots are my wings“ – the one under the table, with the sky on its surface. I hold in 3 loudspeakers in my hand. They are loudspeakers of the mosque where I was attending religious schools, every weekend, until I became 14.
I am coming from Novi Pazar, region of Sanjak – south-west of Serbia, mostly inhabited by Bosniak national minority, as me and my family. We are Moslems by religion, and I was attending religious school to learn Arabic, in order to read Holy Book Quran in original language.
At the same time, I was strongly under influence of David Bowie, his audio and visual expression. One Saturday in 1983.
When I was 11 years old and mad about Bowie, I bought his album „Let’s dance“ on the tape, just before I was going to have lessons in religious school. I came too early to the mosque, I was there alone and I couldn’t wait to hear his album, so I decided to hear it from the mosque tape-player.
I put the tape inside, but I couldn’t hear anything, although the tape-player was working. I was changing sides, going forwards and backwards, I was letting it play for a long time, and in one moment I realized that the player was connected to loudspeakers outside. Bowie was singing all the time from minarets, „Let’s dance“ and “ Modern love“ and I was amazed when I realized, happy because of crazy adventure.
I escaped immediately before someone was catching me, of course. Last year, when I was visiting my parents, I was passing beside that mosque, and I saw the old loudspeakers in the graveyard.
I asked people from mosque if I could take them, they agreed, and I brought them with me to Germany. I keep them cared and I wanted to put them into my artistic expression. Red shoes are a tribute to „Let’s dance“ and I wear traditional trousers from my hometown, trousers of my grandmother, the same one I mostly borrowed from her when I was attending religious school – mejtep.
In that photo, beside reflection of the sky on the table, there is one set of Bowie’s magazine and a photo of him from his „Serious Moonlight“ tour. On this sheet I put a peach – exactly on the place where my heart is under the table.
In Novi Pazar, my hometown, peach is considered as a naughty fruit, because you cannot bite on it without a risk to become sticky from its juice. Because of all those things – it’s absolutely my favourite photo. It is telling me that my roots don’t have necessary to keep me on the ground. I fly thanks to them.