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Idil Kirr

International Relations student at UEHS

paints people so they won't be forgotten

Idil Kirr from Turkey,a 22-year-old International Relations student at UEHS is a semi-professional guitarist who graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is inspired by music, cinema and literature. In addition, she is a talented painter – and it was her paintings and drawings that gave rise to this conversation, which shows us a girl with versatile talents, depth and fantastic positive energy.

icon button go to media Gallery of works Idil Kirr

Hi, Idil! Amazing paintings!

From what you've shown, there are mostly faces of women. Why exactly this type of art? Who do you draw? Are they real people or more your fantasy?


Hi, thank you very much! 
I love cinema, especially films shot between 1950 and 1970. I watch many films by directors from different countries, but Jean-Luc Godard is one of my favorite French directors. Since I met him, I started focusing on drawing women’s faces, especially the actress Anna Karina. Most of my drawings are of her. Besides, I’ve always thought that women’s facial expressions are stronger than men’s, so I think that’s why I focus on women.

Why Anna Karina? What is unique about her face?


Between 1961 and 1967, Anna Karina and Godard were together. In my opinion, they shared a true love. She has a beautiful face and is a really good actress, but besides that I think we are similar in something. I mean her personality, her facial expressions and how she behaves towards other people. She died in 2019 and I feel that I am still in mourning….

In conclusion, yes, I love her and I feel that for some reason I am still close to her and I want to paint her so that she will not be forgotten. And of course she is incredibly beautiful.

I see. Could you tell me what motivates you to be creative? How do you feel when you're not doing that? I mean you don't paint, sing, play guitar and so on....


Honestly, every little nice moment motivates me. It’s always been that way, with everything. Small things make me happy, and I guess that’s what I get my motivation for creativity from.  When I don’t do that, I feel emptiness and that makes me very anxious.

Let's move to more practical things. Do you make money from your drawing? If so, how does it look like?


No, but in Turkey, in Izmir, I used to paint figures on walls for friends. But not for money, rather for fancy food or a gift. I would like to make money from drawing, but I know it’s not that easy, so I didn’t even dream about it.

Now everyone is talking about artificial intelligence. With the development of AI, the images generated are increasingly difficult to distinguish from those made by photographers or painters. As reported by the BBC, photographer Boris Eldagsen's work, titled "Pseudomnesia: The Electrician," won the recent Sony World Photography Awards 2023. There would be nothing surprising about it, if not for the fact that it's not a photo at all.... The author generated the graphic using AI. What is your opinion on this phenomenon? Would you like to compete with AI? Do you see the point in it?


I don’t think that for art AI is so important. In art you show what you can do with your hands, that’s why it’s so unique. That goes for photography, drawing, painting, film making, writing, etc. You do these things with your hands, from your point of view – how you see and feel it. So, in my opinion, AI just makes art fake in every aspect. I don’t see much point in it.

What inspires you here in Poland, is there something that drives your creativity, that makes you realize yourself here?


In Poland, my ally is the weather. A long period of cold weather puts me in a state of permanent creativity. I feel then like a character from Gogol’s stories. I read a lot of Russian novels, I think they are all about cold weather 🙂 

Of course, summer also inspires me and encourages me to paint landscapes. Warsaw in the sunshine is amazing!

By the way, why did you move to Poland?


Honestly, it was quite accidental, because of my grandfather. He was often in Poland on business and had many friends and colleagues here. In fact, he is one of the main reasons for my move 2 years ago.

Tell us, please, about your life in Poland. Is there anything that surprises you?


I’m from Turkey – Izmir, my city, is located by the sea, so basically the atmosphere here is different than in my hometown. People in Turkey are so warm – sometimes even too warm 🙂 On the one hand, you never feel lonely there, because everyone tries to help each other, no matter where you are from. But on the other hand – Turkey is known to have an immigration problem and it’s hard to be honest there.

What do you mean by being honest?


I mean that in Turkey we rather not have such immigrants as young students, but such people who are trying to flee their countries, not working and studying. Our government takes great care of them, even gives them citizenship. So it often happens that you or your friends are followed by random people who are not from your country, they record you if you wear skirts or shorts, for example. And you can’t even say “hey, stop,” because they simply don’t know your language. That’s why I say it’s difficult. Of course, not everyone is like that, I have many friends in Turkey from Iran, Iraq and they all work, study and respect other people.

So speaking of Poland, I can say that one thing that surprised me is how people really care about your and their own personal space – it’s nice.

Can you give any examples?


For example, in Turkey, if you argue with someone on the street, policemen can touch you or even beat you up if they want to. They don’t care about your personal space and if you say “hey-hey, don’t touch me,” they don’t listen. It’s not just about them, but also about ordinary citizens. Here, on the other hand, everything looks completely different, it is full of respect.

Thank you for your answer. I know you are studying international relations, and you studied English translation in Turkey. So where do you see your future? What would you like to do professionally?


I think I want to become a diplomat, however, I previously considered being a translator. At my previous university I translated TV shows, novels, medical texts, and it was a lot of fun. Now I think I would still like to be a translator.

Translator? Ok, what about artificial intelligence in this industry?:) It doesn't seem to be the future anymore, it's already happening....


Yes, I know 😀 Translation is easy, but, as you know, there are many cultural differences in every language. So if I adapt to at least two cultures, the translation will be very smooth and culturally adapted. It’s kind of fun to translate – not word for word, meaning for meaning….

However, if I find something else that I think I will be good at, I can easily change everything.

Best of luck to you! As for our uni, what opportunities does studying at UEHS gives you, what practical possibilities do you see in completing your major?


Studying at this university gives me, first of all, the opportunity to meet amazing professors. They are always helpful and believe in you, and this also affects your point of view on everything. So yes, I’m very happy to have the opportunity to meet amazing professors.

Who exactly are you talking about?


Among others, it’s Dr. Bozena Iwanowska. She believes in each of her students, I think that’s amazing. I can clearly see that she loves her job, her students and teaching. That’s what a lecturer should be. Last year I was a little lost, but she didn’t stop believing in me, showed me my capabilities and helped me come to my senses. She even made me think to myself, “Wow, she is a super nice person and a super nice lecturer, maybe I will also lecture at the university and be like her. I can also help students…”

Sounds really interesting, then do you have a person or persons who are role models for you, who help you understand where you are going?


First of all, it’s my parents. I admire my mother, she is hardworking, beautiful, and can do so much at the same time!  She is always so confident and strong in everything! My dad, on the other hand, is very fun and loving. He is a great guitarist, a good illustrator and knows everything about everything. I admire his intelligence!

Thank you Idil for the interesting conversation and the time and energy she devoted to it! We wish you to meet all your plans – present and future!

Alona Trokhymchuk,
UEHS in Warsaw

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