SNAPSHOT PROJECT: istanbul, turkey

This Snapshot Project focused on working alongside Syrian refugee youth between the ages of 4-16 in Istanbul, Turkey. As a student abroad in Istanbul in 2012, Snapshot Project Leader, Beatrice Schachenmayr, had a life changing opportunity to work with ASAM, Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants, a non-profit organization that “develops solutions to the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers encounter in Turkey and helps them meet their basic and social needs.” 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 spent time teaching abroad, inspired her to provide these children a creative outlet for expressing their emotions and experiences while having fun and, in the process, helping to alleviate their suffering. Believing in the power of photography to help do just that, Beatrice applied to be a 100cameras Snapshot Project Leader. 

In Beatrice's own words, this project in Istanbul was an awesome success. For many of the students it was their first time using a camera. As photographers, they learned about themselves, shared their ideas and gained confidence, all skills important in anyone’s life. When reflecting on the process, she shared how the Syrian children she grew close with helped her become a better teacher, and that how as the project unfolded, she witnessed how this photography course became a positive outlet in their lives. 

Upon completion, the photographs by the children were exhibited in a show at Bluseed Studios in upstate New York.

Hear about the experience from behind-the-scenes as featured in this blog post

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.
— 100cameras SPL, Beatrice Schachenmayr

At ASAM's Child Friendly Space they receive donations throughout the year like clothing, shoes, food, etc. This year, they have a priority need for school supplies because many of the children have been accepted into the Turkish school systems but can't afford the basics. The funds provided through the sales of the children's photographs will go towards supplying the children with backpacks, notebooks, pencils, folders, etc. so they can have the tools they need to be strong learners!