The Istanbul Education and Solidarity Association for the Mentally Challenged is organizing an event that put young people with down syndrome as the focus of world-renowned painters' works, and a stage performance
"Art and Us," organized by İZEV (the Istanbul Education and Solidarity Association for the Mentally Challenged), aims to introduce a new dimension and approach to the conventional, sometimes inadequate awareness efforts for teenagers with Down Syndrome while emphasizing the importance of art.
The program underlines the needs of these unique individuals, who have unfortunately been marginalized by the society that only perceives them as disabled, when they should be included in all aspects of life.
The "Art and Us" project's main mission is to make the voices of individuals with Down syndrome heard, but through 12 classical paintings that have become timeless masterpieces. Under the project, the subjects of these portraits were replaced by teenagers with Down syndrome by using photo manipulation techniques.
The reinterpreted and reproduced artworks will be displayed at airports, art houses, galleries, private museums and shopping malls in different cities around Turkey. Specially designed notebooks using these artworks as covers or bookmarkers will also be produced and showcased to point out that these teenagers have a life much like any other individual.
This is being designed as a new generation social awareness project, which is organized by İZEV, a leading institution in this respect which has contributed a great deal to the education and training for youngsters with special needs.
The project will travel all around Turkey for a year and reach millions of people. The specially designed notebooks were printed as part of the first series of the program by using the visuals from the exhibition. Those who purchase these notebooks will support the project by assuming the duty of becoming a supporter of the İZEV Project in their respective cities and districts and would be able to help expand the project.
Throughout the year, there will be three more series of the program with different themes.
The project launch takes place today at Özdilek Park Istanbul, between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and can be visited for the next 10 days. At the launch program, the famous painters themselves will also be reanimated with special costumes. The program will be hosted by Cyrano de Bergerac brought to life by Yiğit Sertdemir. Also, the character of great painter Albrecht Dürer will be portrayed by Kürşat Başar and Çetin Çiftçioğlu will animate Leonardo da Vinci.
Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, and Johannes Vermeer will also be portrayed. The launch will bring a group of teens with Down syndrome together with Turkey's leading businessmen and artists.
These famous artists will say, "They are also included in the arts; if we were still alive today, we would have used them as the main subjects of our artworks."
Teens with Down syndrome, who are the new faces of 12 of the most famous portraits in the world will be at the launch and will adopt the approach of asking all volunteers "why don't you complete the missing leaf?"
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