Ayşegül Özadak and Tuğçe Özdemir from Istanbul, storytellers at Curious Steps: Gender and Memory Tours organised by Sabanci University Gender Forum, were supported with the travel grant to visit Yerevan, for researching on common songs of both societies and conducting interviews with some volunteers from local CSOs to reveal the meaning of these songs.
“Trying to teach each other “parev” and “merhaba”, even at the smallest conversation that we had during our meetings, taxi rides or with the people which we meet occasionally while walking on the street, or dancing the halay with them to the music from the very centre of our minds… All these and how they made us feel showed us that it is possible to go beyond the borders between us and Armenia by coming together, touching each other and listening what the other says…”
“Visit to Armenia was not easy, but a crucial experience. What makes it difficult was what I have taken along with me, my own prejudices and apprehension about how I will be treated. But while I was even hesitating to tell people where I am from on the first days, I was more comfortable after having interaction with people. Although I felt the burden of the past on my shoulders in most encounters during our visit, I turn back with hope for our generations to create social dialogue. I was aware of the importance of open borders before my visit, but I feel now more deeply..”