Bosphorus Ayvalık Project and Seed Company
Following the mining disaster in Soma in 2014, the “Bosphorus Soma Solidarity” team was established at Boğaziçi University to investigate the socio-economic foundations in the region. In October 2014, the same team, in response to the introduction of the Olive Grove Law, formed the “Delice Olive Solidarity” to disseminate information about the expropriation of olive groves. During their field research in January and February 2015, the team’s meeting with Olive Seeds Association laid the groundwork for a project aimed at children in Ayvalık. Olive Seeds Association received a request from Boğaziçi University for joint children-focused initiatives.
In June 2015, volunteers from Boğaziçi University initiated recruitment and preliminary work for the summer school to be held from August 10th to September 10th. Workshops, focusing on themes such as urban (Ayvalık) / space and social memory, ecology, recycling, nature and life, children’s rights, coexistence, covered areas like storytelling, theater, dance, cartoons, farm-to-table, and photography. The project, which brought together 76 volunteer university students, their advisors, field coordinators, and 200 children, has been ongoing without interruption for eight years. The Boğaziçi Ayvalık School, conducted during summer and winter holidays, has become a sustainable and highly successful program, expanding to other provinces and districts across Turkey beyond Ayvalık.
The theater activities began in 2017 with the children in Yenimahalle, Ayvalık, performing the play “Vampire.” On November 30, 2017, the team formed through year-long efforts of the Theater Workshop adopted the name “Çekirdek Kumpanya” (Seed Company). The first play of Çekirdek Kumpanya, “The Tragic Comedy of Don Christobita and Dona Rosita,” received great acclaim when performed in Ayvalık and Istanbul. Their rendition of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” premiered on November 23, 2019, at the Demirgil Hall. In 2023, they staged their 4th play, titled “Women’s Games.” Describing the positive development of the members of Çekirdek Kumpanya, who were once children and are now young adults, between 2017 and 2023 is quite challenging.