My country has sunk into a complex humanitarian crisis led by a corrupt autocracy. From the laments of the millions of migrants who comprise the Venezuelan exodus around the world, to country-wide demands for food, medicine, and basic services, to the denunciations of human rights violations and the cries of political prisoners, Venezuela is in grave decline.
How did I come to make a film about Dr. Vamik Volkan? The project arose from my experiences being a woman of a particular family rooted in the southern United States. As D.W. Winnicott said, home is where we start from.
Vamik Volkan was born in 1932 in a Turkish family on Cyprus, received his medical education in Turkey, and trained in psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the United States. From a career in psychoanalysis in which he published many papers, he eventually found his way to creating a discipline in the application of psychoanalytic ideas to international conflict.
Room 2.19 is about the powerful intrapsychic and geopolitical forces that threaten to hijack our minds, souls, and agency —and along with that, our communities and countries.
Being involved in global violence prevention and dealing with genocides, gender-based violence, civil wars, and suicides, the last thing on my mind was domestic partisan politics.
I work at an agency in a central city in Israel that focuses on treating children who are survivors and perpetrators of sexual violence. The office has one bathroom with two private toilet rooms: a toilet without a toilet seat for men and a women’s bathroom.
Crossing borders in the recent past was probably less confusing and demanding than it is now. Institutions, social norms, and rituals made borders more rigid, and prior to the digital revolution and hyperglobalization, borders were more stable.
I am sitting in my office, thinking about rooms. Writing for Room has prompted this state of reverie, during which one of my favorite works, A Room of One’s Own, passes through my mind. In her essay, Virginia Woolf writes of the necessity for women to have money and a room of their own in order to write fiction.
A young man came to see me suffering from what he described as an “identity crisis.” He felt lost and didn’t know who he was or what he wanted. His family had fled from their country of origin during a time of war and could no longer return without the threat of imprisonment or death.
Two protestors stand side by side—one black, the other white. The black figure holds a sign that reads “I Can’t Breathe”; the white figure holds a sign that reads “I Can’t See.” I am the youngest daughter of Jack (an orphan) and Rose Fine, who was the youngest of eighteen children, both Jewish refugees from Poland.