Mahmut Şahin, a Turkish calligrapher who has long been teaching calligraphy in many provinces of Turkey and who has made efforts to develop and spread this art, continues his studies at his home due to the coronavirus outbreak. The effort made by Şahin, who continues to teach hundreds of his students in the digital environment, is greatly appreciated by his students.
As a result of the measures implemented against the new type of coronavirus, which has prevailed all over the world, the number of people staying at home is on the rise. As time spent at home increases, people have developed a curiosity about the hobbies that can be pursued at home. While trainings by experts on numerous subjects continue on the internet, the interest in calligraphy has also increased greatly. In an exclusive interview with İhlas News Agency (İHA), Şahin, a calligrapher who teaches a group of 250 students through digital media, said that he continues to give interactive courses to a large number of students both in Turkey and abroad. Şahin teaches calligraphy every week at Bab-ı Nun workshop in northwestern Bursa province, Vel-Kalem workshop in northwestern Eskişehir province, Vav Der workshop in western Kütahya province, Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality’s conservatory in northwestern Turkey and Bayrampaşa Turkish Islamic Arts Center in Istanbul, as well as teaching students from Turkey and abroad via the internet.
Indicating that he has about 450 to 500 students, Şahin stated that the drastic measures taken as part of coronavirus outbreak prevail in Bursa, Kocaeli and Eskişehir as well, pushing him to teach online.
“My students send me 90-degree photos of their calligraphy home works, and I print, edit them and send them back. In this way, the lessons continue," he said.
According to Şahin, the students continue classes through the internet by sending one piece of homework every week as in the normal course period. “However, as they spend time at home, they send two to three pieces in some weeks,” he said, noting that about 250 of his students are sending homework two to three times a week.
He added that staying at home presents an opportunity for people interested in art.
“We are going through a period where artists have to be the most productive. Now, I am trying to finish the work that has piled up and to put new projects into practice. I am working on a couple of books. After this challenging period, we will hopefully open the season with exhibitions and books," he said.