Samer: "Never give up.."
Rabia: "I don't want more or less.."
Hasan: "Don't feel sorry for me.."
Maram: "The women must strengthen themselves..."
Faysal:"We are alive..."
Samer - "I have a dream..."
Malek:"It's quite hard to losoe this..."
Gulnar - "I stopped planning..."
Essam: "I dream a simple wedding..."
Mahmoud: "How can I complain?.."
Yosef: "I love to be an academician.."
Mohammed: "No country in the world is gonna listen..."
“Welcome to Turkey” is a collective effort that intends to listen to the stories of the Syrians living in Turkey through their very own words. It is an outcome of a personal discomfort on the dominant representation of the refugees; a wish to make a small contribution to the struggle against the increasing xenophobia; a projection of the word uttered to the people who decide to live here in Turkey. It doesn't claim to “represent” the Syrians living in Turkey, but attempts to uproot the negative stereotyping about them.
It was called “an excuse to chat” and set off in İstanbul as a collaborative work of Utopictures Collective and Sinetopya, in October 2015, in order to see and speak on the matter, through the media which is already our means of “expression.” At the end of 2016, the producers continued their way to listen to their Syrian neighbors in Ankara, with the contributions of Open Society Foundation and Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
“Welcome to Turkey” set off with the idea that every individual story is bigger than the sum of the stories. Nevertheless, the multiplicity of the stories and their standing together tell more than the pieces. The collective takes this multi-movement as perspective and aimed to demonstrate this multiplicity and the power of singular stories. Departing from all these, they listen to their Syrian neighbors and produce video-portraits out of their everyday lives. As the videos are running on the online media, the collective participate their screenings in a variety of universities and festivals. They will organize a screening with the participation of the subjects of our video-portraits in January 2017, in Ankara.