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hafî ersen


everyone's talent is hidden under their fears

01.2021 I #8


N: Let's start with this: What should we call you? Are you an animal trainer?

“your interest begins wherever you begin to feel joy. it ends wherever it no longer feels comfortable to you.”

E: First of all, we cannot say that this work starts here or ends there. Just as befitting as the name of your magazine. Your interest begins wherever you begin to feel joy. It ends wherever it no longer feels comfortable to you. Some days I run a dog farm, some days I'm preparing dog food.  I hold seminars and interviews about how we can take better care of them. But mainly I communicate with all creatures that we consider to be "alive". I try to explain things that I understand. Actually, I am interested in everything that is alive. I love plants, animals and people a lot. I mainly work with dogs, sometimes cats, sometimes crows and mice. I also have a lot of fun. Because those animals have very noticeable features. One of the things that excites me the most is "Shooting with a lot of animals in TV series or movies." Once, people from a series said to me; "Ersen, we need trained snakes." I try not to say no, because I don't want to limit myself. What is asked of me is for the snake to act... “You will leave the snake on stage and you will go out. It will go into the loincloth of the man and we will not know whether it has stung him or not”, they say. There are no examples in the world and I don't know how to do it. I follow logic. This animal is not a warm-blooded animal. If it finds a warm place, it will go. I make a hot path for him. The hammam was cold because of the shooting. So the man is lying on the stone. We leave the snake. Since it cannot go from the cold floor, it goes on the path I have heated. In another scene, the snake has to pretend to be dead. Medicine can be given to the animal there. I don’t accept this; because of the risk. "So what are we going to do?" they say. If it even shows its tongue, it’s a problem.


As someone who has studied animals since childhood, I know that snakes are camouflage animals... No animal wants their camouflage to be broken. It does not even blink. Until when? Until it’s sure that it's surroundings are safe. Then it begins to moving. They said, "The man will throw the snake into the backgammon and it won't move there." We put it in and closed the backgammon. We opened it. Poor-fellow stood still, looking to see if it is safe. Of course, it starts to smell after five or six seconds. That time is enough for us. I was known to be a snake trainer there. I'd laugh if anyone told me. Because it is not an animal that can be trained. You can't even give it a treat. The animal digests what it eats in two weeks. 

Education is technically based on reward and punishment. Rather; based on existing and not existing. People also apply it to humans. Depriving a living of something is punishment.

N: A lot of people do what you are talking about. Since I know you, I know how you train animals more or less. Some are even violent. They lock them in a cage and make them stay in that cage for 20 days. You almost do it without needing any of these. What's your secret?

“if you know that every action has a reaction, you will act accordingly.”

E: The only secret is; I'm in love with it. My creation is based on this. If you know that every action has a reaction, you will act accordingly. Everyone's talent is hidden under their fears. This is what I believe.

When I was a child, I was very afraid of dogs.

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