UNNA / GERMANY- Journalists Yüksel Durgut and Ramazan Şahin, who started with the slogan “We bring our dreams together with the hopes of children from many countries of the world”. Journalists were forced to leave their countries after the witch hunt in Turkey, gathered children from 29 different countries for the “Hope” project which realized for the first time in the world.
Journalist Yüksel Durgut, who was detained in Turkey for 13 months after July 15 with illegal operations and seeked asylum to Germany in 2018, has become a hope for the children of the world with his latest project. Durgut, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journalist Post Magazine published by the International Journalists Association, had previously opened a painting exhibition called ‘Awakening’ with Ramazan Şahin.
In their latest project, Yüksel Durgut and Ramazan Şahin sent half of the pictures they took to the children and asked the other half to be painted out of their own imagination. They gathered children between the ages of 6-12. from Germany, Mali, Pakistan, Brazil, India, Afghanistan, USA, Japan, Australia, France, Laos, Vietnam, Turkey, Eritrea, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Lithuania, Kosovo, Serbia-Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Ghana, Macedonia, Poland, Syria, Iraq, Armenia for the project. They tried to understand the imagination of the children of the world of this project by a method that had not been tried before, especially when painting a picture of drought.
The Mayor of the city, representatives of the Ministry of Integration, regional heads of all parties, representatives of religious groups, Caritas officials and students and their families participated in the ‘Hope’ exhibition, the opening of which was held with broad participation in the German city of Unna. Unna Mayor Dirk Wigant, who gave the opening speech of the exhibition, spoke about the importance of the project and noted how much we need it recently. Wigant was quoted as saying that children are the hope of this world, adding: `For some, hope is confidence or optimism, for some, hope is to wait for a good future. First of all, hope is a predictable and achievable goal`
In another part of the project, the Katharinen School in Unna and the Les Ecrivains school in Bamako, the capital of Mali, from West African countries, completed 3 paintings together as sister schools. The paintings drawn by the children of the two countries were specially exhibited in the exhibition hall and were highly appreciated. In addition, the children of the Katherinen School participated in the opening of the Exhibition and sang songs.
’CHILDREN’S HOPE’ BOOK ACTIVITY
A picture book entitled ‘Children’s hope’ was also included in the opening of the exhibition to immortalize the project. What made the book special was that famous personalities out Unna contributed a sentence containing the feelings and thoughts to each picture. Participants were emotional for gathering together in such a project with people from different views and groups. The proceeds from the sale of the book will be spent on the children of families who have emigrated to Unna under the Weltoffen Association roof.
“We believe that the story of the paintings is stronger than the story of the words,” said Ramazan Şahin, explaining that photographs are one of the many methods of immortalizing the past and that they revive memories for exhibition and book activity.
Mevlana said, “Hope is a never-ending spring season. Journalist Yüksel Durgut, who said that they were inspired by the words ”It snows in it, it breaks off in a storm; but it always opens the flowers“, said: “We all closed ourselves in our homes with the pandemic period. “It was the children who most wanted this disease to end as soon as possible. Then, with the war in Afghanistan and Ukraine, the door was opened to this project, which was carried out for the first time in the world with children, in order to shine the light of hope we needed. A team of about 100 people with families worked on this project” said he.
The little Australian artist May Ekari Kyaw, who participated in the exhibition with two paintings, sent the following message, commenting on the painting of hope, her own work in the book: Hope is necessary for people to survive and prosper. The person in the picture embraces a heart, and this heart; although it has been left in the dark from time to time, it still symbolizes that hope is in his heart. The palm tree in the middle of the ocean symbolizes hope, how important it is to hold on to it, even if it is small.”
The exhibition will remain open until April 24 at the ZIB Schwankhalle in Unna, Germany.