Bettina Salzhuber, 25

As a student of Arts and Education in Germany, I was especially interested in Art Programs during my internship at the Tarlabasi community centre. It was a great opportunity to practice my knowledge and ideas with the great support of the stuff. During my stay in Istanbul I created two Art Workshops together with other volunteers. One workshop was about exploring Tarlabasi with the local children using creative research methods. Together we designed a large map of the neighbourhood on the wall of the centre, showing photos and drawings of their houses, schools and favourite spots. It shows the positive sides of the area, which is usually criticized by the local government. The second workshop we did was called „What if I can be a superhero?“. Children from age 10 to 12 created their own superheroes with individual powers according to their personal experiences and imaginations. They developed very creative live-size figures made out of cardboard and dressed with colourful cloths.

During those workshops I learned a lot from the children about cultural backgrounds, educational systems and the Turkish language. Even though I took some Turkish classes, it was very helpful to work together with Turkish volunteers. They translated for the children and supported me preparing the weekly classes. It was wonderful to get to know all the children and people working and helping at Tarlabasi Toplum Merkezi. I had a great experiences where I learned a lot about alternative pedagogical work in Turkey, especially in context of gentrification, gender issues and political changes. Thank you very much to all the people I got to know, you are doing a wonderful job! I hope to see you again soon.

For Tarlabasi Mapping Workshop Reflections: ttm-mapping-reflection-and-perspectives.pdf