‘Collective Story’ connects children between the age of 6-14 years in Gaziantep through storytelling. All these children are protagonists of the stories of their own experiences. Through the children telling these different stories of their daily life which are nevertheless unique, the project creates a collective narrative that represents the heterogeneous identity of Gaziantep. The participants are empowered by gaining authorship over their own narrative and expanding their horizons with the different experiences and stories of their peers.
Participants are chosen through an open call and start their journey with individual “creativity boxes”, including writing and drawing materials as well as children’s books and “story stones” with which one can play games to set up stories. With these materials, children literature writers, illustrators and bloggers conduct online workshops, complemented by excursions to inspiring locations such as the Gaziantep Archeological Museum. This creates the basis for creative writing and illustration sessions during which the participants acquire knowledge and experience in expressing their stories.
Finally, all children collectively write a story, completing each other’s sentences and illustrating the resulting narrative themselves. The final result is published as a book in Turkish and Arabic and will be made available in schools and libraries in Gaziantep. An e-version in Turkish, Arabic, and English will be open to access on the project’s website.