“Children are not Numbers” Project

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“In a fast-paced, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news coverage atmosphere with rapidly changing current affairs and news content, most of the reporting is about dry and opaque statistics and facts. Yet numbers alone cannot possibly represent human lives.”

Using this idea as a starting point students who worked in this project were encouraged to create small documentaries to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees living in İstanbul.

Within the 6 weeks of pre-production period, the class indulged in the activities of brainstorming, researching, pitching, interviewing and production scheduling. They also attended lectures given by the invited guest speakers which include Former UN Commissary Metin Çorabatur, Koç University Research Associate Doğuş Şimşek and ABC Field Producer Engin Baş.

After choosing the educational problems of Syrian refugee children as their theme, PANN-class decided to work in collaboration with İstanbul Bilgi University Child Studies Unit who held a valuable workshop on the ethics and issues of documenting children. Child Studies Unit’s support was vital since they also helped the class having access to the two primary schools in Eyup (Mehmet Akif Ersoy and Hacı Arif Bey İlköğretim Okulları) whose Syrian students and teachers were the subjects in the documentaries.

Having organized into four student teams, PANN-Class finally produced two documentaries with a motto “The future of Syria may be uncertain, but the future for children from Syria doesn’t have to be”. .