2008-2010, Istanbul (Turkey), Alexandria (Egypt), Berlin (Germany), and Barcelona (Spain)
supported by Arttransponder, Roberto Cimetta Travel Grants
In collaboration with Sulukule Platformu, Istanbul, Gudran, Alexandria, Loyal e.V, Berlin, Convent de Sant Agustí, Barcelona.
SUMMARY: Let’s was a series of workshops aiming at empowering youth to express themselves through clay animation. They each told about their environment and life, sharing the process within a group.
Let’s consisted of a series of workshops in which stop-motion movies were created by youngsters from four large, metropolitan cities: Istanbul, Alexandria, Berlin, and Barcelona. The participants were taught to build their own model characters and props from clay, take digital photos, and make their own scenography. The project developed on the idea of relationships as participation in collective action and it was based on collective production, solidarity building, and self-awareness.
In this process, storytelling was used as a game to express the kid’s ideas and opinions about their lives and surroundings; their perceptions were investigated through the stories that they developed, which also highlighted how cultural differences change their point of view.
Clay was employed as sensorial, natural, easily workable material with also therapeutic properties, to make evident the invisible verbal story of the young minds in their own circumstances, starting from the idea that often their words are not enough to express their realities.
Let’s was realized in the neighborhoods of Sulukule, El-Max, Kreuzberg, and El Borne, all characterized as difficult, disadvantaged, and problematic areas, where the local population daily found itself coping with violence in different forms.
Sulukule, Istanbul, was a gypsy district built inside Istanbul’s old city walls more than 1000 years ago. When the workshops took place, in 2008, the municipality had already started to demolish the area and rebuild the settlements. Half of the inhabitants were living in tents, and the other half was waiting for the bulldozers to come. Nowadays Sulukule no longer exists.
El-Max, Alexandria, is an old village of fishermen by the canal Mahmoudiyah, which is heavily polluted by chemicals. Its environment is threatened and the locals live in poverty conditions with their incomes depending on fishing. In 2008, as the real estate of the area had increased in value, the municipality wanted to gentrify the village, using disturbances in the community as grounds for demolishing it.
Kreuzberg, Berlin, is one of the city’s central districts with a large immigrant population. For years its inhabitants lived below the poverty line, having to face drugs, violence, and discrimination issues. In 2009 the area was undergoing a gentrification process.
El Borne, Barcelona, in 2009 was a gentrified area closed to the city center with a very diverse immigrant population from all over the world.
Let’s was realized thanks to Elif Bursali and Ezgi Güner (Sulukule Platformu, Istanbul), Mohamed Ragap and Gözde Öngören (Gudran, Alexandria), David Lubensky and Özgür Demirci (Loyal e.V, Berlin), and Judith Agulla and Nihal Mumcu (Convent de Sant Agustí).