The tale of rainbow stairs


Video by Diren Merdiven)

About two weeks ago, a man painted a set of stairs in beautiful rainbow colors. No one in the neighborhood had liked the grey-colored stars so they enthusiastically embraced the change. Even the newlyweds came to have their photos taken on the colorful stairs. The stairs not only brought joy and smiles, but also symbolized the diversity of the nation.

After a day or two, the residents woke up to a set of ugly grayish-green stairs–the deed done by the local government.

This sounds like it could be a great opening for a children’s tale–stair painting just seems like such a harmless action. But in fact, this event took place in Turkey. People were enraged that the government intervened in stair painting and they have painted many other stairs all over Turkey since that incident. You can see what a marvelous job they’ve done in the youtube video that bursts with colors in defiance of power.

To me, this is the manifestation of the new order and of the fact that the old rules of governing and of the power of so-called authorities no longer apply. The questioning of authority in a peaceful way is always a step further on the ladder (or stairway) of our collective consciousness. As authorities get stale and comfortable in their positions, it is our task to kindly remind them from time to time that they’re still accountable for their actions, just like anyone else. And the authorities’ response–the repainting of colorful stairs–suggests that they are not ready to relinquish their long-estalished grip on power. Thus the reminders should continue to dazzle their eyes with all the rainbow colors. Perhaps in a while, their eyes will fall in love with all the joy that the colors bring out in us and to us.

Till then, I’m off to paint my rainbow, and I encourage you all to never cease doing it as well. Paint it on your stairs, on your computer or in your imagination. And don’t ever allow anybody to repaint or erase it.



Karo Caran, the Rainbow Poetess, is a poet and a non/fiction writer. Her novel, "Breaking the silence: A story in paintings" focuses on the censorship of art and gay relationships in the postwar, communist Poland. Her poetry-based memoir, "Life in a Footnotes" will be published this summer.
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7 thoughts on “The tale of rainbow stairs

  1. awww I love the rainbow stairs! Hilarious that the govt needs to shut down the rainbow stairs… those in control often have things so backwards! Thank you for sharing! <3 Mimi

  2. I love this! I want others to see this because I think it’s a great idea! One man in LA had planted a garden in the plot of land between the sidewalk and the street which we are all responsible for maintaining and the city said you can’t plant a garden there with food. The guy fought the city and won and continued to plant food gardens in other vacant spaces. it is so so inspiring. thanks for this post!

    Julieanne Case
    Always from the heart!

    Reconnecting you to your Original Blueprint, Your Essence, Your Joy| Healing you from the Inside Out |Reconnective Healing | The Reconnection| Reconnective Art |

  3. Such wonderful stairs. It is frightening to me that a government would paint over this, subduing the energy and creativity of the people. Thanks for this lovely story and the metaphors that go along with it.

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