Arts Lab 5.0: Sena Yavuz, Turkey - Month 5

While we were coming to the end, the month started a bit weird. Carlita turned back from Bolivia, so the ambiance of the home changed immediately with my Linda. But at the same time, we found Haşmet, seriously injured from his neck. So we had some stressful days when we were worrying about his life. So we spent a lot of time to take care of him in the best way possible. In the end, little Haşmetcito became good. 

Then we went to our first caravan, which was in Ceplenița. In addition to enjoying the day with the kids, we visited some nice spots in the village, drank nice wines, and learned how to sew traditional Romanian blouses, which I enjoyed a lot. 

While we were preparing our artwork for the JEMOM museum, we had a surprise birthday party for Hassancito, the grandpa of the house, and spent a nice time all together. For the personal artwork, I created a monument with a text talking about the term ‘’genocide’’, which was an excerpt from the book ''Pogromul de la Iași’’. As I regularly do, I collected some trash styrofoam and made the monument only with them and paint. I focused on the 3D features of the artwork to make our visually impaired students read it by their hands. 

During the exhibition, it was priceless to see them interacting with my artwork with a smile on their faces. I realized one more time that the bonds that we build through art are really strong. 

The day after the exhibition, all team, moved to Bucharest for the midterm training. My first impression of Bucharest was really good, to be honest, it was more like a European city than the rest of Romania, in terms of the architecture, art in the streets, population, and all the opportunities it has. The day after, we started the midterm training, the surprising part was that, as a whole Arts Lab, we were in the same section. We were feeling pretty comfortable, but at the same time, it blocked us from socializing more with other people, which irritated me a lot. But anyways, during the breaks, and eating times, we met with a lot of people, some Turkish too. Then we went out at night in Bucharest and got to know each other more. Even though I liked most of the people, after hearing about the dramas within their teams, I understood how lucky we are to have a team like this <3. 

In terms of the activities, to be honest most of them were not that fun. But I enjoyed the activity of doing some tasks in the city, which enabled us to discover Bucharest more, even for some hours with new people. Before going, my expectations were higher about a lot of things, which were not met. During all this time, I SUFFERED with several problems. Cucarachas, who was following me in every room I moved in the hotel, terrible health issues that I faced for the first time in my life, mental breakdowns which were the giveaway of it, and cold. But anyway, it was still fun.

After the end of the midterm, we decided to stay in Bucharest three days more, to discover. We rented a nice Airbnb as five people and discovered more the Bucharest. Even though I liked a lot of places in Bucharest, the Therme just blew my mind. OMG, one of the best nights of my life, I will do anything to visit there again before going back to Turkey. 

After relaxing a lot, we wanted to live a bit random and decided to go the Braşov. We took a train, and we arrived in Braşov by watching amazing views during the trip. In addition to the other important places in the city, we also visited the Bran Castle, which is quite overrated from my perspective. To be honest, because it was snowy, I think the timing was good to spend two days in Braşov and enjoy the city.

After this little break from the project, we returned home and another marathon started for me: The Turkish Night. It was the night that we started to talk with Aliye while we were still in Turkey. Because we both cared a lot about presenting our country in a way that it deserves, we put a lot of effort into the preparation. Since the cuisine is one of the things that we are proud of, we started to prepare food from days before and stored it in the freezer. We worked 3-4 days on them, but in the end, I think we did a good job. I do not know how many things we prepared but two tables were full of food like mantı, beyti kebab, pide, börek, taş kadayıf and a lot more. We had a lot of guests, even Mihai from Iași and Ina from Suceava, and we had a lot of fun until midnight. 

After this, we started the art residency at Ion Creangă School. At the same time, I was working on my Rrroma project, which was a combination of photography and crafting. As a team, we visited Zmeu, which is a Rroma village, and I started to take some pictures. Then I met with more Rrroma people to shoot in Târgu Frumos with the help of Larisa. As the last destination, we decided to visit Podu Iloaiei to have the last photoshoot, which was an adventure that I will never forget. During all this time, my purpose was to capture the real moments of the people and sew on them in terms of the feelings that I had in those moments. To be honest, this is the project that excited me most, so I’m looking forward to ending it.

Sena Hanım Yavuz is from Turkey, and she is participating in a six-month volunteering program within Arts Lab 5.0, a project co-funded by the European Union through the European Solidarity Corps.


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