The Izmir-Chios mural
The Izmir-Chios mural (2007)
It started in Chios
and came together with students and pupils in Izmir, Turkey
The Izmir-Chios Mural was first shown at the ECCM Symposium 'Productivity of Culture' and the Kids' Guernica exhibition held in Athens 17 - 21 October 2007.
N. Nichtas from Prefect of Chios and Deniz Hasirzi amidst children from the 108th Athenian school
Statement by Deniz Hasirci:
The joint painting between Greece and Turkey has great significance as a message from children to the leaders of these two countries. Although the children could not speak a common language, they managed to work together harmoniously and established a strong bond my means of painting. The workshop proved to be a valuable one for all children as well as the adults involved, and will be an experience they will not forget. In 2006, on the Turkish side, before communications with Kids’ Guernica had begun, Assist. Prof. Dr. Deniz Hasirci and Gulistan Banu Cel Sevgi from Izmir University of Economics (IUE) and TAKEV School, respectively, had established a Buddy Program between students of these two schools. This program involves older and younger students being paired and working on specific projects. A collaborative approach which is at the core of Kids’ Guernica, appeared to be very much in line with the program. It is a great honor to be a part of this established group which has turned into a family in the times that followed the workshop in Izmir.
Coincidence brought the Buddy Program and Kids’ Guernica together, and the group started the painting in May, 2007 with children in Chios, and continued it in September, 2007 in Izmir, Turkey. After months of long distance communication, Hatto Fischer-Poiein Kai Prattein, Associated Member of the ECCM-Network, Thomas Economacos-artist, Efi Lipari-Tourist Officer for the Prefecture of Chios, crossed the sea and came to Izmir with 8 children from Chios and met with Deniz Hasirci and Gulistan Banu Cel Sevgi. In Izmir, 2nd and 3rd year students from IUE and 7th, 8th year students from TAKEV were waiting anxiously for the painting which carried opinions, and reflections from the children of Chios. The group first played games led by Thomas Economacos to warm up to one another. The university students and adults enjoyed the games just as much as the children… if not more. After the children opened up the painting to see the ideas that were delivered to them, they diligently worked together for two days to create a painting of peace which was exhibited in Athens in October, 2007.
The workshop proved once again that Kids’ Guernica takes small but effective steps towards communication, understanding, and peace between people and cultures. Aziz Kocaoglu, the Mayor of the Greater Municipality of Izmir supported the project with the following words: “The message that these children help spread will hopefully set an example for all countries. I wish you success in your work, and embrace all of the children who are taking part in this fascinating project”. The experience was a remarkable one for all who were involved, having touched their lives in ways that will undoubtedly be in the background, guiding future thought and actions.
For further contact:
Asst. Prof. Dr. Deniz HASIRCI,
Department Head, Interior Architecture and Environmental Design,
Faculty of Fine Arts and Design,
Izmir University of Economics,
Balcova 35330, Izmir, Turkey
Yrd. Doç. Dr. Deniz HASIRCI,
Bölüm Başkanı, İçmimarlık ve Çevre Tasarımı,
Güzel Sanatlar ve Tasarım Fakültesi,
İzmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi,
Balçova 35330, İzmir, Türkiye