victoria duckett:Thank you for agreeing to speak to me today, Elif. I thought I'd begin by asking you what your job is, what your role is as an archivist, and how you came to it.
elif rongen-kaynakçi:This will be a long answer, I am afraid! At the moment, I am the silent film curator at EYE, so I am in charge of the silent film collection. Our silent film collection is remarkable in many respects. It contains, for example, the [Jean] Desmet Collection, which is very big on its own, but also some other very important early films. What I do is take what comes in, because there is still a lot of material out there, and it is still coming in. I go through it and decide what to do with the films: what needs to be restored and what the thematic importance of things are.
For example, we worked on the First World War project [on the European Film Gateway] that obviously required us to look again much more closely, maybe also from a different perspective, at the films of that period. What we are therefore doing at EYE is in accordance with what is happening outside [the EYE Film Institute].
I also try to go through the collection and decide if there is anything that urgently requires attention. Perhaps a film needs to be restored; maybe a nitrate original is practically melting away. [I look at] these kinds of things. I am also in contact with a lot with programmers and writers-researchers from around the world. Sometimes their priorities may also shape our priorities. If I hear that an important, groundbreaking book is being written about somebody, for example, …