In Search of Miracle

Ani was 4-year-old, when for the first time in her life viewed David Copperfield show on TV and made her mind to do her best to repeat the magic tricks. That was in 1992. In 2010, Ani Stepanyan participated in the competition organized within the framework of Internews’ Dialogue-Building between Turkey and Armenia project and submitted her script entitled “Looking for magic in Istanbul.” Together with five other participants of the project, Ani left for Istanbul in search of magic.

The purpose of the “Students’ Film Co-Production” component of the project was to enable six young people from Armenia and Turkey to communicate with one another, learn about the neighboring country, undergo training on documentary production, travel and produce a film reflecting own view of the neighbor’s life, culture and problems.

Thus, Ani spent a day in Asia and another day in Europe by being on the two sides of Bosporus, which separates these two continents. Ani was looking for magic. First she was hosted by Kubilay Tuncer, the most famous magician of Turkey. His Ordinary Miracles show is very popular in Turkey. Mr. Tunjer taught Ani the most important rule of the magician: to make even the most simple and ordinary action in a solemn way, in the right place and at the right time. “You should never go to a supermarket and make an ordinary lemon disappear in front of the customers. These people should see you only on the stage, with lights, assistants, applauses and in a striking costume,” Tunjer said.

The nest magician, whom Ani met, has almost 100 trainees but is never seen on the stage and on the screen. On the contrary, a really magic person Erdem Bey is for daily magic tricks and never minds showing tricks in supermarkets, even in state institutions. “It helps to make close ties with people and to promote you,” says Erdem smiling. Ani tasted Erdem Bey’s magic tea right in his shop, where he sells magic attributes: hats, which become rabbits, sticks, which become bunches of flowers, cords, which suddenly flame. However, in order to master the entire mentioned, one should believe in magic. Thus, only those people, who believe, are allowed to the shop. Here, Ani learned the second rule: never reveal your secret.

Ani Stepanyan didn’t unveil Erdem’ and Tuncer’s secrets. However, she exposed their images. Ani’s film Copperfields of Istanbul was screened and discussed in Yerevan, Gyumri and Istanbul universities and received a huge feedback. Armenian and Turkish media reported on Ani’s film.

“For me the most important discovery was Turkey,” Ani says. “It so happened that I carried out shooting in two days. However, these two days were so full of new impressions, that it seems to me I am still in Erdem’s magic shop in search of magic.”

Upon the end of the project Armenian and Turkish students had another opportunity to meet one another in Yerevan and to discuss their joint work and project results. Together they traveled to the Armenia-Turkey border and looked at the capital Ani. Their photo was taken at the background of Ani temple in sign of future cooperation.