From Essays

pinar ogun

What Is The Definition of Being Free?

Our Patron Pinar Ögün discusses what she thinks the definition of being free could be…


The answer to this question becomes even more difficult to answer when you face restrictions, censorship, banning, or discrimination or furthermore when your voice just echoes in the emptiness and there is simply no one to hear it.

The more you think of limitations and boundaries, the more you realise that we are all trapped in a vicious circle as human beings.

It is simply endless to question the boundaries to be free and sometimes you would either be ignored or silenced when you speak the truth.

Because truth does not come with a style, it is always very simple and raw and so it is so hard, almost impossible for people to accept it.

Revealing, expressing, voicing the truth may break the chain and disturb the ongoing routine of life and you may end up as an outcast of the society, and put yourself in a vulnerable position.

Being free is the most difficult state of mind.

It could be just a moment of peace within oneself.

And so for me creating that moment of liberation is the first step of being an artist.

I believe the result most of the time is: unique.

There are endless stories, thoughts that may actually make a difference but we are so compressed with obligations and restricted with certain way of expressing ourselves that most of the time we lose the essence of why we want to tell a story or need to do it.

We seek for a constant approval, rather then making a point.

We are so afraid to offend that we would rather stay put.

We avoid taking risks and so become null most of the time.

We sometimes feel like we are free, afraid to question anything and then we teach ourselves to get along with it.

In some situations, it’s so difficult to identify violence, and that is because we never had the chance to observe the loop we were trained to survive.

That is why it is crucial to portray our vision, thoughts, experiences to spread it and make it available for others to observe and begin to ask questions.

Whichever way or form we choose to express what triggered us, it will end up challenging the viewers and that would make us one of a kind.

In other words: out of the box.

Let’s All Be Free Festival simply exists for you, and it is now in its fourth year.

I feel privileged to be a part of this Festival as the main reason for its existence is for us to exchange these thoughts around being free.

Today most festivals have developed a certain way of accepting projects. For them in order to be a storyteller, you need to work on their way of story-listening.

Ticking the boxes should not be the purpose of art. And short films should not be just a teaser for developing feature projects for potential filmmakers.

That’s why Let’s All Be Free is important for you as an artist to deliver your statement with a unrestricted form of art that is a short film.


Article written by Pinar Ögün

why lets all be free

Why Let’s All Be Free?

Our Founder, Tariq Nasir, breaks down why we are Let’s All Be Free and where we came from…


The questions of what we do at Let’s All Be Free (LABF), and how we do it are easy ones to answer.

At LABF we get people together who are open to exploring the artistic and the creative.

We open spaces, solicit films and other forms of art; we screen, display and share ideas.

We encourage dialogue and discussion, through panels and group participation to foster tolerance and understanding around the world.

At LABF we ask hard questions, and uncover difficult truths.

Through this collaborative process we discover overlooked stories, unheard questions, and unseen experiences.

Together we help others to see the struggles people go through in their daily lives, and yet, through LABF we also find the beautiful, the unexpected, the heartwarming, and the inspiring.

The question of why we do what we do is probably harder to answer, but possibly more important.

Inequality exists in many forms, as I have witnessed, and experienced around the world. Is what has been created over many centuries what we want to pass on to our children?

I started the Let’s All Be Free project six years ago with the goal of raising awareness.

Through LABF I wanted to encourage people to think about their lives, and what they wanted out of those lives.

I wanted people to become more aware of the societies and cultures that we as humans have built and perpetuated around us.

I believe that we can change what may have grown outdated or now seems misguided.

Through coming together and sharing our experiences we can help one another expand our understanding of each other.

Let’s All Be Free is my attempt to encourage people to think about how they might change their lives for the better, and embrace an opportunity to live fully, freely, and with equality.

It is my hope that Let’s All Be Free will inspire a worldwide movement that will in turn inspire dialogue and discussion, which will lead to constructive and positive action and improve all of our lives.


Article written by Tariq Nasir