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OneMinutesJr workshop in Turkey - Day 3

by Chris Schuepp

KAHRAMANMARAŞ, Turkey, 25 April 2014 - On the third day of the workshop in the Kahramanmaraş Refugee Camp we start filming in various locations around the camp.

Mohammed (13) from Aleppo never wanted to leave Syria in the first place. He thought the war would not take too long, but then his family decided to leave the country and go across the border to Turkey. Mohammed thought they would be here for a few weeks or so, but it has been two years since they arrived in Kahramanmaraş. 

Mohammed in his film "Stone age" - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014

Two years of uncertainty, two years of not knowing what the future will bring, two years of waiting for something to happen. In his OneMinutesJr film Mohammed symbolizes the long wait by walking through the camp by himself and throwing a rock up to catch it and throw  it up again. And again and again. Until he gets to a pile of rocks where he places his rock on top of the others. One rock per day, a symbol of the seemingly endless time in the camp.

Another Mohammed, also from Aleppo but already 15 years old, is complaining about the lack of space in the camp. He loves playing football, but unfortunately the facilities are very limited. 16,000 people live on a square with a circumference of about six kilometers. The camp is divided into different neighborhoods with up to 500 tents each. Everything is surrounded by a barbed wire fence and so there is a critical lack of open spaces for sports and for children to play. Mohammed therefore creates his own little football field, but it sure leaves many wishes open.

Having fun in the refugee camp - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014

Wherever we go in the camp, we are surrounded by tens of children and adults. They all want to know what we are doing and when we film a scene for the videos, we have a huge audience already. People come out of their tents, they eat sunflower seeds, they enjoy seeing something different for a change. Most tents have a TV set and are connected to a satellite dish, but that is the only sort of entertainment available in the camp.

OneMinutesJr cameraman Mohammed filming in front of a big audience - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014

For the children, however, there are the school tents and the child friendly space administered by the Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF. The center is like a "safe haven" and also the place where we hold the workshop this week. At the end of an interesting day out in the camp, we get back to our base and wrap-up the day before we start with the rest of the filming tomorrow morning.





OneMinutesJr workshop in Turkey


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