Workshops / Exhibtion / Presentation

Opening: Fri, 05th February / 7 pm
Exhibition: 06th - 13th February
Presentation: Sat, 13th February / 7 pm


The exhibition LetS shows reflections, process and the results of different clay animation workshops with young people in Istanbul /Sulukule, Alexandria /El-Max, Berlin /Kreuzberg and Barcelona /El-Born.

On one hand we talk about globalization, on the other hand we are still shaken by the some significant contrasts between different countries. Although we are oblivious of these differences in our daily live - to see them reminds us to consider social values.

Therefore, the project Let'S was about forming a collective production, solidarity building and self awareness through the process itself.

Seçil Yaylalı selected four metropolises which are located a long way away from each other. They have no direct connection. Although, the cultures and the geographies are quite different, the negative sides are pretty much the same. The selected neighborhoods* are weighed normally difficult, disadvantaged and problematic. They cope with the daily life in different forms and have young people growing up who are not much taken care of or being respected.

In all these cities, she collaborated with an association and a social worker who had already been working in that area respectively with a group of young people (between 6-13, boys and girls, equally mixed) as well as with a young artist. These groups, Seçil Yaylalı invited to a series of workshops where they could learn to create a clay animation short movie completely made by themselves. They discovered how they can express themselves and tell stories about their environment, their inspirations and how to widen the perception of their own lives through the perception of their surroundings.

Why clay animations? Clay is a therapeutic material which relaxes the participant. Modeling it is a joyful work - it gives a good energy to touch this earthy material. Digital photography is something the young generation is familiar with or curious about to learn. Putting one's own voices over pictures is very exciting, and to organize a group by themselves and to distribute their work a new experience. To combine all this with a personal story makes it particular.

The workshops pointed out that the relationship with the youth's physical environment is very important, though most of the time not being considered seriously before. By using another medium to express themselves the teenager's self-development is supported in a sustainable way.

What Seçil Yaylalı experienced is that the kind of participation in the and the physical results (raw clay animated movies) of the workshops are completely different as well as the social and psychological findings of them. In each location there are some reflections about specific circumstances and occurrences they deal with. Common was, that the participants were concerned about the relations between people and how they misbehave to each other.
Social and psychological effects of the workshops can only be reviewed in the long term.   Surprisingly, from the very beginning of the workshops until their end the changes of the attitudes of all participants were really remarkable. Regarding the youth, it looks like a maturing period in their life – they became much more accessible and showed more sense of responsibility to group work.

*Sulukule had been a gipsy neighborhood which had been in the center of Istanbul for more than 1000 years. At the time the workshops took place, the government had already started to demolish the area to be able to build new settlements. Half of the former inhabitants already lived in tents then. The others were waiting in their houses for the bulldozers to kick them out. All of them had to continue their daily lives as far as poosible.

El-Max is one of the old fishermen villages, located on both sides of a river. As Alexandria is growing up now it comes much closer to the city center. That means an increase of the land prices and growing economical interest in destroying the historical structure. Beside this, the neighborhood is surrounded by chemical factories which are creating an indiscernible chemical air pollution.

Kreuzberg is one of the central districts of Berlin with a big immigrant population who often lives below the poverty line, struggling with different kinds of social problems.

El-Borne is a gentrified area of Barcelona that is very close to the city center with a good deal of diverse immigrant population from all over the world.

Thanks to the collaborators:

Istanbul /Sulukule, Sulukule Platformu; Sulukule Platformu is a volunteer gathering. There are artists, sociologists, academicians and lots of students.
Elif Bursali –¨& Ezgi Güner / Sulukule Blog

Alexandria /El-Max, Gudran is a structured association that supports the cultural development in different neighborhoods in Alexandria - they work with local communities with a continuous commitment.
Mohamed Ragap & Gözde Öngören–¨ / Gudran

Berlin /Kreuzberg, Loyal e.V., has two different rooms in different social housing projects in Kreuzberg. They open their flats some hours a week and invite young people to come and use the facilities.
David Lubensky & Özgür Demirci–¨

Barcelona /El Born, Convent de Sant Agustí is a cultural association which has diverse facilities for exhibitions, workshops, concerts and a place for the children.
Judith Agulla & Nihal Mumcu–¨ / Convent de Sant Agustí

a project by Seçil Yaylalı

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