Turkey's Changemakers: Don’t hide under the blanket
In its fourth season, Sabanci Foundation’s Turkey’s Changemakers Program continues to share unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to the country’s social development.
Gülçin Kaya, who established the Non-Disabled Art Association in 2007 with an initial grant from the European Union, was recently recognized by the foundation. In her “Art Without Obstacles” project, she brought together 120 young people with mental disabilities, 50 European sociologists, psychologists and art teachers in different workshops ranging from drama to sculpture, glass painting to music. In 2010 these workshops were exhibited at the 5th World Youth Congress in which thousands of young people from 147 different countries participated. Young people from Spain and Greece also implemented the same project in their own countries.
After the “Art Without Obstacles” project, Kaya implemented the “Don’t Hide Under the Blanket” project based on the idea that people with disabilities are often associated with shame by the society. In this project she worked with seven young people with disabilities that have been successful in different areas and aimed to include them in society. First, these seven people were photographed and then the photos documenting their successes rather than disabilities were exhibited in different galleries in Istanbul and Balikesir. Kaya now plans to hold exhibitions in 20 other provinces in Turkey and publish a book sharing the stories of people with disabilities that participated in the project.