In 2009-2016 DVV International (the Institute for International Cooperation of German Adult Education Association) and partners implemented a series of Armenian-Turkish reconciliation projects through funding support by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These projects aimed at building bridges between the peoples of Armenia and Turkey through adult education, exchange visits, journalism, oral history and art
The first project, “Speaking to One Another: Adult Education and Oral History Contributing to Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation” was implemented in three different phases from 2009 to 2013. DVV International and its partners “Hazarashen” Armenian Center for Ethnological Studies (Armenia), Armenian Actors Union (Armenia) and Anadolu Kultur (Turkey) ) organized several youth camps for students enabling them to conduct oral history interviews, design and implement small scale projects, and enhance their creative sills through writing, photography and performance. The project travelled with an exhibition in Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, Cyprus, Berlin and Paris reaching out to wider audiences in respective countries and Diasporas. The books and the documentary film produced under the project are featured below:
Acting Together (2015-2015) was implemented by DVV International and its partners “Hazarashen” Armenian Center for Ethnological Studies (Armenia), and in 2015 Tarih Vakfı (History Foundation) in Turkey. The main components of the project were the Road Magazine, Oral History, Growing Archive and Writers’ Diaries. The project was designed as an over-land trip from Istanbul to Yerevan, following some of deportation routes in Turkey along the following destinations - Haydarpasha train station, the concentration camps of Ayash and Cankiri, Dersim, Varto, and Agri in the Eastern, or Kurdish, part of Turkey, which is historically also known as Western Armenia. From there we intended to travel to Armenia visiting Gyumri, villages in the Aragatsotn province, Etchmiadzin and Yerevan. Unfortunately, the restart of armed conflict between the Turkish army and the PKK and IS terrorism created challneges for ravelling safely through Turkey as planned, therefore only the Armenian part of the journey happened.
Road Magazine - 10 participants (5 from Turkey and 5 from Armenia) – photographers and journalists worked in road magazine team with guidance of German experts of FROH! MAGAZIN to create visual and narrative materials about the places and people we meet on the road as well as reflect on the ongoing group dynamics and personal experiences. The Roadmag was published in 2017
Oral History - 10 participants (5 from Turkey and 5 from Armenia) came together in Oral History group to conduct interviews with local people which would later be transferred into articles for Road Magazine, contributions to the Growing Archive as well as independent articles published in Armenian, Turkish and German media.
Growing Archive – Growing Archive is a concept of a travelling exhibition which replenishes itself by encouraging the visitors to contribute to it with their thoughts, personal histories, family stories, photos, certain items etc. The archive was exhibited at each stop we made telling people about the project and seeking contributions from local people.
Writers’ Diaries - Two writers – one from Armenia, one from Turkey – accompanied participants through the journey, participated in the project activities observing and taking notes that documented their impressions and observations in diaries or travelogues.