Friendship, hope, happiness, the future, how might you present any of these concepts in a single image?
On the 18th of December 2019, a photography exhibition opened in the Istanbul Airport, showcasing photos taken by sixty Turkish and Syrian adolescents. The exhibition demonstrates the positive impact of access to education and social engagement opportunities on the daily lives of young people and promotes peaceful coexistence between refugees and host communities.
Entitled “Dreams of the Future,” the exhibition will continue for one month at the international departure hall of the Istanbul Airport. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu, Minister of Youth and Sports of Turkey, Mr. Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative to Turkey, the photographer Reza and Mr. Kadri Samsunlu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Istanbul Airport, and featured the active participation of the sixty two young photographers. It is estimated that around 6 million people will see the exhibition over the next four weeks.
Addressing the high-level participants during the opening ceremony, Nazlıcan Erdogdu, 17, a Turkish participant in the photography project reflected on how this experience changed her perception of refugees saying, “At the beginning of the project, I didn’t know how we can get along together as we come from different countries and backgrounds. The great experience we went through together to learn how to express ourselves through the camera made us realize that what unites us is much more than what separates us. Borders are meaningless when you are trying to express how you feel through photography.”