Ece Ergadöz produced the feature in the most recent episode of YouthCast. And though she produced it with the Youth Media Project in New Mexico, she has returned home to Turkey for the summer. She answered some questions via email ("Hi! I have my driver's test tomorrow, so sorry in advance for the short answers ") to let us know how her memory was jogged and her feature, Peculiar Privilege and the Elegy, was made.
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Why did it feel so awkward to ask that question about being an outsider toy your classmate? Why do you think people looked at you so strangely?
It was strange because a very tolerant atmosphere towards all cultures exists at [United World College]. Therefore, asking my friend about the feeling of outsiderness was a little out of place I think.
How did you get involved with the Youth Media Project?
I got involved because I was very involved with the Constructive Engagement of Conflict program at our school. Naomi, the director, suggested that I join YMP. I came to love the project right away.
Did you set out with a full idea of what you wanted to communicate through this story, or did it evolve more organically?
I actually had no idea about what to do at the beginning, But after talking to my German friend Tina, who is featured in my piece, I decided upon this project.
What was your writing process like? And then after that, what was your editing process like?
The writing process did not take too long because once I got the idea, it was sort of like a stream of consciousness. Editing process was tough though, especially choosing short pieces out of the long interviews I made with my friends, and figuring out the technical aspect of editing. But I had lots of fun!
Tell me a little more about growing up in Turkey. You talk about feeling out of place in your own family, but where do you feel like an insider? How would you define your culture?
I grew up in Istanbul so I have been immersed in the modern day city culture of Turkey. I am really not familiar with my parentsâ€™ ethnical backgrounds and cultures to this day. Plus, my mother was also born in Istanbul and my father moved here when he was 1-year-old. So, I have been well immersed in the majorityâ€™s culture.
Did you visit your father's hometown?
No, I havenâ€™t been there yet. I just graduated from high school, so after all the stress I suffered during the college admission process, I much more prefer the Turkish south with lots of beaches for this summer Iâ€™m planning to go to my father's hometown next year. (Itâ€™s kind of cold out there in Kars)
What are you up to now?
I will be off to Harvard next fall. Thanks for featuring my story!