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mahalla events

Searching Traces – Public Screening


Online Screening at Beyoğlu Sineması:  17.12.2020, 4:30pm Istanbul Time (GMT+3)



Screening of a selection of short films produced within the workshop series Searching Traces.


Location:  Beyoğlu Sineması in Istanbul with an Online Live Streaming on ZOOM on December 17. This was the first event of the Mahalla Festival 2020. The audience was able to interact.



The filmmakers and the workshop participants participated and talked about their films. The ongoing Video-group was conducted by the filmmakers Kutaiba Hajira, Sabine Küper-Büsch, Thomas Büsch and by the actor Mohammad Eyad Babtji.


Live stream, December 17th, 2020

In Summer 2020 the Istanbul based association diyalog organized under the title Searching Traces a workshop series on short-film-production with Smartphones. The workshop continues with regular weekly meetings on ZOOM with participants from Istanbul, Gaziantep, Toronto, Amsterdam, Valletta, Rome and other cities.

The Films, which were screened, are focusing on various topics:

A young Syrian artist in Amsterdam for example is using Sufi poetry against the feeling of loneliness, a participant in Canada filmed, how nature is trying to take back urban space in Toronto. A Student from China got stuck in Rome during the Pandemic and pictured the creative homelike structures, homeless are building in the streets of the capital of Italy. A young Turkish artist is searching for the tension between “Leib and Körper” in Istanbul. We are introduced to the beautiful Tahmis Kahvesi in the old city of Gaziantep, reminding many migrants the destroyed old quarters of Aleppo. A migrant from Eritrea is reflecting his resistance to trauma in Malta, a Maltese Teacher visits her Sudanese friend Mohamed in his corner shop. An Iraqi Lady explores how much fun it is to ride a bike on the banks of the Marmara Sea…… and much more.

During the live-streaming the audience meet with the filmmakers. Searching Traces got an international meeting place during the pandemic. We continue to meet every Sunday evening. Have a look, maybe you would like to join the environment of the Mahalla Festival.

Within the workshop, participants with and without filmmaking experiences are 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 themes of the movies are focussing on the experience of the filmmakers in their environment. A wide range of topics and forms were developed in the past month by the workshop that grew into a regular Filmmaker meeting connecting different parts of the world with each other.

The Searching Traces Video Project of the Mahalla Festival is ongoing and invites individuals and initiatives to connect. (

Many Thanks to the team auf the Mahalla Festival and the workshop instructors who made this event possible with their great performance: Asena Hayal, Tahsin Bilge Avcı, Kutaiba Hajirah, Eyad Babtji, Sabine Küper-Büsch, Julie Peters, Su Efsane Akpınar, Berkay Çelik and the team of the Beyoğlu Sineması.

These workshop was supported by the Embassy of Canada in Turkey, Spaces of Culture, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Istanbul and the cloud editing software WeVideo.

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