A crack is a situation lingering between a break up and fusion. As Leonard Cohen had said in his song Anthem, “there is a crack in everything” and “that's how the light gets in”. A crack in wood is a sign that the pieces still live together. This is why wood is a warm material. The moment you touch it, you can tell the difference from its plastic imitations. It is impossible to re-unite the pieces and eliminate the crack altogether without any trace. If you try to do that, press it and glue it up, you will hurt it, just like the nation-states try to make different peoples living in the same country identicle, eliminate the cracks and leave them in dark without any light.

Diversity gives people energy for life and vitality. Diverse groups of people who turn their backs to each other, lost in indifference and lack of sensitivity will also lack vitality as long as they avoid communication. It is not easy to maintain the differences and undertake to live together, in other words to keep the cracks without trying to eliminate them. In traditional Japanese carpentry a piece called “butterfly joint” is embedded in the crack to bond the pieces together without eliminating the crack. In this way it lets the light get in and at the same time provides contact between the pieces it bonds together. It doesn’t force the pieces to comingle and become uniform, denying passage to death to preserve life.

This was what Hrant Dink throughout his lifetime. He respected differences, he upheld communication and co-existence. In doing this he was in fact enabling a life in harmony with the nature’s rythm, resisting to political conversion projects which can be summed up in the motto “either break up, or be identical”. So that we can be different and stay together just like the pieces held together with a “butterfly joint”. Today in protest of those who murdered him we all stand together within the cracks and we will do so for ever, in order to let Hrant infiltrate through these cracks like a beam of light.

I can hear Leonard Cohen’s music and lyrics accompanying us:

I can't run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
A thundercloud
And they're going to hear from me.

I had never designed an award statue before. If I wasn’t invited to do so for the International Hrant Dink Foundation Award, I would never design one. Taking part in this project has given me honour and pride. I am grateful to my colleague Tan Mavitan for his contribution and the heartfelt support he extended during the creation process.

Erdağ Aksel
İstanbul, 3 March 2010