Conceived in the frame of the 17th Istanbul Biennial, What Are The Birds Thinking? engages children between the ages of 6 and 14 from all over Turkey to speculate, observe and better understand the life of birds, their habitats and our relationship with them and with nature. The project initiates an imaginative process through which teachers, educators and children can become involved in multi-dimensional and multi-layered conversations relating to birds, developing a sustained and more acute awareness of intra and trans-species relationships.
The project brings children and teachers together with experts from different fields to develop a sustained dialogue around some central questions: ‘What Are The Birds Thinking?’, ‘If they could speak to us, what would they say?’ and ‘What can we learn by watching them?’ Based on the experience of teachers and children’s practices of observation, concentration, and listening, the reflections generated will be collected and turned into publications in various formats – including writings, illustrations and images – to be disseminated online and offline during and after the Biennial.
What are the birds thinking? (estd. 2022, Istanbul, Turkey) is a project to be realised by the Istanbul Biennial and İKSV Alt Kat, as a collaboration between Education Reform Initiative (ERG), Hisar Schools, Teachers Network and Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum Learning Programmes and Today at Apple. Focusing on children aged 6–14, the project aims to initiate a creative process to redirect the imagination of children as well as accompanying adults, teachers and experts and reconnect them with birds, nature and non-humans, and start multi-dimensional conversations about all that connects to the birds. The project invites children and accompanying adults from all over Turkey to lift up their heads and think about birds. It will help develop children's ability to listen, observe, concentrate, record and research by posing questions such as: ‘What are the birds thinking?’, ‘If they could speak to us, what would they say?’ and ‘What can we learn by watching the birds?’