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Giulio's Dream

January - November 2023

Giulio's Dream is a recent history research and documentary film project focusing on the summer camp for children held in Urla between 1964-2001 by Padre Giulio, one of the priests of the Izmir Dominican Church (Santissimo Rosario Church).

The project, which will be carried out by UR Collective, will consist of two separate working periods as research and documentary shooting. While the research work will cover the scanning of documents, diaries, photographs and video archives within the church, a series of interviews will be held with people who have been to the camp at different times for the documentary film. The project will end with the screening of the documentary film and a photography exhibition.

This holiday home, which is the youth dream of a dedicated priest in a country where he is assigned, was opened on June 15, 1964 with 21 children participating. For 37 years, it opened its doors to 2500 children as a non-profit regardless of ethnicity, religion or sect of these children. The camp, which continued its activities uninterruptedly every summer from 1964 to 2001, had to end its activities due to the socio-cultural and political conditions that changed over time in Turkey. This camp held by P. Giulio began to undergo bureaucratic inspections at the end of the 90's on allegations of being involved in missionary activities, was used for autistic children for a while, and then the church property was forced to be removed from the church's assets and closed for good. Focusing on this whole process, the project allows a micro-reading of Turkey's view on minorities and political transformation that occurred in the camp for nearly 40 years.

UR Collective attributes importance on bringing this venue of memory, which has been ingrained in the memories of those who were in the camp in their childhood, as an asset for the cultural heritage of İzmir by recording it through archival work and interviews. The project aims to create visibility for the children's camp, which is one of the important cultural components of the city of İzmir and an important place in the personal memories of the Levantines who contributed in establishing identity of the city through their identity, and bring it to the surface as a cultural heritage and contribute to the efforts in ensuring that it is not forgotten.

UR Collective

UR Collective is a non-profit culture and arts organization founded by poet and editor Monica Papi in 2020 in Urla/İzmir. It develops projects focusing on various fields such as visual arts, literature, architecture, history, memory building and cultural studies and carries out its work through collaborations.

In 2021, the collective realized the “Nazireler Kitabı” (Book of Nazires[paralle poems]s” project, which is contemporary poetry and video focused work. One of the founding purposes of UR Collective is to create a thinking space with minor contributions to the cultural existence of İzmir, a city where different identity elements coexist. It aims to contribute to the creation of urban memory based on unrecorded personal memories.

This page is published on 19 January 2023.