SNAPSHOT PROJECT: istanbul
Led by Snapshot Project Leader, Beatrice Schachenmayr, this project was in partnership with the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), a non-profit organization in Istanbul, Turkey that develops solutions to the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers encounter in Turkey and helps them meet their basic and social needs. Specifically, ASAM takes action in the community to help meet the needs of migrants and their families by educating each person about their legal rights, providing necessary medication and other life necessities, as well as offering support systems and developing solutions for daily challenges that are often faced when arriving in a new city.
The socio political status in Istanbul leaves many young Syrian refugees homeless and with little hope for a better future. In light of this, it is important that humanitarian assistance is provided, creative initiatives are enacted in the community to ignite change, and international cooperation is promoted. This project became an innovative opportunity for children refugees to become empowered to share their stories using an alternative medium.
100% of proceeds from the students' photo sales will go directly back to their community. Based on the current needs of the organization, the proceeds raised will help ASAM fund much needed school supplies such as backpacks, notebooks, pencils, and folders so that they can have the tools they need to be strong learners at school.
ABOUT THE PROJECT LEADER
As a student abroad in Istanbul in 2012, Beatrice Schachenmayr had a life changing opportunity to work in Istanbul with the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants. It was this opportunity that opened her eyes to the harsh daily struggles that refugee youth face all over the world. This experience along with her time spent teaching abroad, inspired her to provide these children with a creative outlet for expressing their emotions and experiences while having fun and, in the process, helping to alleviate some of their suffering. Believing in the power of photography to help do just that, Beatrice was excited to lead a 100cameras Snapshot Project. For many of the students it was their first time using a camera. As students, they learned about themselves and shared their ideas and gained confidence which are all skills that are important in anyone’s life. Through the process, she grew close with the Syrian children, becoming a better teacher herself and witnessing how this course became a positive outlet in their lives.
Beatrice reflects on this experience as an awesome success,
They were really excited to learn about photography. Nader, an interpreter for the class, mentioned that it’s not common for kids to show up regularly, but in my class they were always there because they were learning something new. Witnessing this evolution has been rewarding and especially so because it’s had such a strong impact on a whole community... I hope this project empowers children to share their stories whether through photography or other forms of expression. I would love to see the kids set goals for themselves when thinking about their future. Maybe one day they will look back on this experience and it will bring them self-confidence and a smile.
Read the full Snapshot Project experience from Beatrice's perspective in our featured behind the scenes blog post.
STUDENT IMAGE GALLERY
Follow us on social media to see images from the field as captured by Beatrice and the student photographers.