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Children gathering at T Junction (Pic courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)
The project has taught refugee children photography and darkroom skills since 2019 (Pics courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)

Sirkhane Darkroom, a Turkish initiative which teaches refugee children photography skills, is raising funds to continue photography workshops after the devastating Turkish earthquake in February.

The initiative, which has been run by Syrian photographer Serbest Salih since 2017, brings local children and refugees together through film photography workshops, teaching the children to take and develop photographs.

After the devastation of the earthquake earlier this year – which killed nearly 60,000 people and displaced more than two million across Turkey and Syria – Salih and publisher DoBeDo set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to continue its mobile darkroom operations.

The campaign reached its target of $10,000 this week, and will begin running workshops next week. The fundraising page is still active for further donations.

The GoFundMe’s page says the project relies on “photography’s ability to help refugee children tell their story, and the project encourages them not only to use photography as a language and a therapeutic medium, but also as an activity to help them assimilate into their new surroundings and to bond with other children in their new communities.”

The page continues: “This money will go towards buying the materials needed for the workshops, such as film and cameras, and contribute to the more logistical expenses of fuel and car rentals which allow Serbest to travel to affected zones across the country.”

Sirkhane Darkroom, which is based in the southern Turkish city of Mardin, has held exhibitions of photographs taken by the children and also released several books of their photographs.

Sirkhane Darkroom shared the follow images with Kosmo Foto taken by children attending recent workshops after the February earthquake.

Dog standing in front of ruined house (Pic courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)

Goats standing by house (Pic courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)

Girl kissing boy in front of window (Pic courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)

Girl taking picture of dog (Pic courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)

Man smiling behind net (Pic courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)

Self portrait reflection in window (Pic courtesy Sirkhane Darkroom)


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Stephen Dowling
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