A small group of Erasmus students at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University has been realizing the worldwide Bellastock project in Istanbul this week. The idea behind the project is to recycle the masses of waste the world is producing every second. About half a year, the students in Istanbul have been collecting rubbish from Turkish markets, mainly wooden boxes from Tarlabaşı and Beşiktaş, in order to show how waste materials can be reused efficiently instead of producing new goods.
The dedicated students have built a few objects during the week, a waste-made bathtub and a shadow spending roofing for instance, which were displayed at the Mimar Sinan Faculty in Fındıklı.
Three basic lessons can be learned from this project. One is with respect to the operators an architecture-artistic one: Architecture is obviously not only a simple idea of drawing or building something, but its realization takes a lot of time, stamina, drafting and re-drafting.
Secondly this project delivers an ideological, global message, which shows us that regardless of religion, political view or cultural background, establishing something together means respecting and connecting each other. Especially in the light of the current protests in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey the Erasmus students want to distance theirselves from any political attitudes. As a matter of fact, the festival is an attempt of intercultural exchange through art.
Finally, the students want to raise economic and ecological awareness in Turkey with their project. Time wasted is time lost…materials wasted are materials lost. Turkey has an urgent need to spread the idea of using the facilities they have. Although Turkey has made progress in the resolution of pollution control, the ecological spirit has evidently not reached the masses yet.
By calling attention to the idea of re- and upcycling with their Bellastock project, the Erasmus students are making a valuable contribution to raising environmental awareness in Turkey – and what city could be a better material supplier than Istanbul.