Sirkhane Darkroom is raising funds to run workshops for children affected by Turkey-Syria earthquake

Through photography workshops, the non-profit plans to travel across areas affected by the earthquakes for 16 months.

12 April 2023


Sirkhane Darkroom, a non-profit organisation working with children across Syria, Turkey and Iraq who have witnessed violence, poverty and war, is raising funds for new workshops. The organisation plans to travel for 16 months across 10 areas affected by the earthquakes and teach children skills in analogue photography, enabling them to take their own images, develop and print them.

100 per cent of funds raised will go directly to fund workshops, with the organisation in need of photography materials such as compact cameras, films and printing cards for workshops, as well as a small vehicle to travel alongside its caravan darkroom. At the moment, the non-profit currently has plans to take its workshops to Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Hatay, Malatya, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Kilis, Şanlıurfa, Adana and Osmaniye.

Sirkhane has functioned as a mobile darkroom based in Turkey’s South East since 2018, where it is led by Serbest Salih, a photographer from Kobanî, Syria. The organisation uses photography and informal teaching as a way to expand children’s access to storytelling, expression and play, but also as a “healing tool”, the non-profit explains.

“For many children, photography comes to serve as a language and a therapeutic medium. It helps the physical and mental processing of emotions because it involves a careful step-by-step approach. Analogue photography teaches children self-confidence, communication skills, and is a way for them to make new friends.” Read more about the organisation via our 2023 interview with Serbest here.

On the recent fundraising campaign, Serbest states: “As you might have heard, the south of Turkey and the north of Syria have been immensely impacted by the recent earthquake. In addition to a large number of casualties, many residents and a large number of Syrian refugees have lost their homes and many children and families are living in tents that the Turkish government and other humanitarian organisations are providing to them. We think that it is crucial for us to be there and expand our analogue photography workshops to the areas where children are affected the most.”

The fundraising campaign will run until 30 April 2023; the organisation has currently raised $30,355 of its overall goal of $70,000. You can donate to the campaign here.

Sirkhane Darkroom is a project initiated and implemented by Her Yerde Sanat Dernegi, a Turkish non-profit organisation and the first social school for vulnerable and refugee communities based in South East of Turkey. Founded in 2011 by Pinar Demiral and Serdal Adam, the organization has been active in refugee camps and communities in south east of Turkey where 3.9 million Syrian refugees are resettled.


Courtesy of Sirkhane Darkroom


Courtesy of Sirkhane Darkroom


Courtesy of Sirkhane Darkroom


Courtesy of Sirkhane Darkroom

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Image by Roksan, aged 9 (Courtesy of Sirkhane Darkroom)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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