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mahalla events

Searching Traces


Community Video Workshop



We are inviting you to an online Community Video Workshop entitled Searching Traces


Target Group: Locals and third country nationals, migrants not only in Istanbul but also worldwide.


Starting on June 12, 2020


The workshop will take place in several sessions between June 12 and July 31 as part of the Mahalla Festival 2020 in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Within the workshop, participants with and without film-making experiences will be trained to use smart phones to create movies about mobility/immobility, their living situation and their aspirations regarding community life in one single shot. The theme of the movies will focus on the newcomer and how he or she is an asset and enrichment to a local community worldwide.

Creative tools like video making will allow everyone to try to pave the passage to a new journey. Regarding the actual circumstances linked to COVID-19, the workshop content will be adapted to our actual life rythms, taking into account that the possibility to shoot outside will be limited.

Workshop instructors

The filmmakers Kutaiba Hajirah, Sabine Küper-Büsch and Thomas Büsch.


The participants learn to use the narration style of video-filmmaking to express their views about cultural identity and community life. The creative tools serve to develop new forms of narrations for a better understanding and to overcome prejudices.


The final videos will be published on the online video magazine StreetWalking and later on in public screenings in Istanbul and several mobile phone film festivals. Debates around the produced material will be lead by the instructors and the authors of the short movies.

Target group and tools

Not only people with experiences in film-making but also everybody living in Istanbul (and abroad) with and without migration backgrounds age 17 and older are invited to learn how to express topics shaping their current living situation by using the media of video and publishing it finally online on the internet platform of StreetWalking created by the association diyalog with Arabic, Turkish, and English descriptions.

The video workshop Searching Traces introduces as well tools of Civic Journalism. The participants learn to look through different lenses then the mainstream-media. Civic Journalism motivates us to get to know the people in our community and to consider the different attitudes of people to topics and processes as a gain and enrichment.


By overcoming national boundaries  Searching Traces delivers improved access to information and will generate fresh and unconventional content and forms of narratives. The Videos will contribute as online products for communication exchanges: the use of mobile technologies serve as a creative tool and intend to triggers an increased participation in community opinion- and decision-making. The online exchange is looking for an international mediation of cultural diversity and to build up synergies to create new forms of narratives.


The workshop program was originally scheduled to take place as a physical workshop at arthere in Istanbul. In order to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic the Mahalla team and the instructors implemented an international online version using the ZOOM video confenrencing platform.

The participation is admission free.

The program is supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and the Consulate General of the Republic of Germany Istanbul.

The workshop will take place using the online communication software Zoom. Participants will receive a participation link once they have registered.


To register please send us an email at:


To Participate into the Community Video Workshop we recommend to download and install the ZOOM CLIENT on your desktop computer or on your smart phone.


Download the ZOOM CLIENT


Workshop Instructor

Kutaiba Hajirah is a Syrian, Canadian filmmaker who started his career as a camera man in the Syrian TV. In 2012, he moved to Egypt and worked in different media outlets as assistant director, post-production producer, and camera operator. In 2014, he moved to Turkey and worked as camera operator for many Documentary films, YouTube content and news TV channels. In 2017, he moved to Canada to study Documentary film making.

Sabine Küper-Büsch and Thomas Büsch are German documentary filmmakers based in Istanbul. The couple produces documentary Films in the Middle East and South Eastern Europe that were awarded on international Film Festivals and are screened in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France on prominent TV channels like ARD, ZDF, 3Sat and arte. The Filmmakers are educating trained and untrained filmmakers in short film production for digital formats in different countries. They are publishing the Online-Video Platform StreetWalking as a location for innovative new film narratives.(

Since 2010 they are organizing already similar workshops in Turkey, Malta, Hungary, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Workshop Schedule

First workshop session with introduction on Friday, June 12, 6 pm – 8 pm, Istanbul Time


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