For this project I took inspiration from the artist JR (http://www.jr-art.net). JR made a global project where he pasted giant portraits of eyes onto sides of buildings, trains and rooftops in impoverished areas of the world. The eyes were printed so large that anyone could see them passing by or above. The goal of his project was to bring attention to these communities, to encourage people to see the differences in the way that others live, and create motivation to change these circumstances.
Working with a group of children, I explained the concept to them and gave them recycled cardboard boxes and printed images of their eyes. I explained that we were going to make a miniature version of JR’s project, except we needed to focus on the problems we saw in our own community.
The children talked about the problems they saw in Istanbul, and the injustices in the way that others lived, which made them feel upset. The biggest issue they kept focusing on was hunger and food. They said they felt sad when they saw children who lived on the street, asking for food and money. We decided that while we worked on our little houses, we would also think of a solution for the problem of food.
When the project finished, the kids came to an agreement that they wanted to donate food to children who were homeless. One afternoon we gathered a variation of food, and packaged it to be distributed. That night I delivered the food for the kids and told them about the children I met and saw, and described how thankful they were.
The kids were very happy to have helped their community, even in a small way. I asked them to always let their little houses stand as a reminder that no matter how big or small the action, they can always change the world around them for the better.