Walk Leaders: Cansu Yalnız & Furkan Koçoğulları
We organized our Jane’s Walk, “2 Days 2 Routes,” to take place on the 2nd and 3rd of May in Istanbul and Heybeliada, one of the Princess Islands in the Marmara Sea. It is located in front of the coastal zone of Istanbul and is a neighborhood in the Adalar district. Since this is the first year that a Jane’s Walk has been organized in Turkey, we scheduled an all-day programme for two days and around 120 people attended.
Before the walk we organized a t-shirt design workshop to get participants warmed up to each other and then donned them once we started our walk. We stopped to chat with tradesmen and local people, met storytellers and joined a swap market. We explored our community by using all five senses: by seeing stunning views, hearing birds, tasting local foods, touching and smelling different kinds of plants. We asked people to pair up and close their eyes for five minutes to try and walk with their partner. They took turns and explored what was happening around them without being able to see. We told them to pay attention to the things they felt with their hands, ears, feet, and nose. They hugged the trees, they touched the grass to understand.
Since the island is so isolated from city life, we aimed to give people an opportunity to discuss their daily lives in Istanbul from a detached perspective–by looking at the city from the outside in. At one point we asked the attendees, “What would you like to take from this island life into your city life?” One of them said, “ I don’t want to take anything from the island. But I would remove the sound of cars from my life in the city.”
After the walk, we all gathered at a picnic area to share our stories. We did this by drawing, talking, and acting, listened to live music performed by EvE Giderken and danced with zumbaDeniz. We ended Jane’s Walk Istanbul 2015 on May 3rd, celebrating Jane Jacobs’s birthday.