Anna Ozbek was raised in Seattle, USA. She lives now in Istanbul. She is interested in documenting the potential impacts of Ilisu Dam in Turkey on Tigris basin. She intends to make a documentary about the stories and struggles against hydrological constructions such as dams that have a negative impact on the environment and document several unique cultures and communities living and depending on Tigris.
Their project focuses on the hazards the Tigris might be subjected to after the completion of the Ilisu dam, encompassing ecological and cultural degradation. Turkey seems to be indifferent about the potential environmental damage that might happen to Iraq. It is also indifferent about flooding over 27 Turk villages upstream, among them the historical city of Hassankeyf.
The Ilisu dam does not meet European standards regarding the environmental impact assessment of the project. On such basis, the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects' Chambers has won a lawsuit to stop the building of the dam in Turkish court on January 7 of this year. However, the Turkish government has not abided by the sentence and construction continues.
The journey of these two women through the Iraqi southern marshes and Tigris basin calls attention to Turkish water policies, and is an invitation the international society to pay attention to the impacts of such policies on the future of the Mesopotamian Marshlands and agriculture in Iraq.