In 2008, several years after he founded a sports camp for disabled youth on Turkey’s coast, Ercan Tutal opened the Dreams Academy in Istanbul to provide arts training and workshops for the city’s disabled and disadvantaged youth.
Soon after the Dreams Academy (Düşler Akademisi) opened, the academy’s band, The Social Inclusion Band played at Babylon nightclub where it continues to perform. The band is composed of the rhythm students Orhan Kıvılcım, Şilay Turhan, Ezgi Polat, who are visually impaired; Emir Murat Vatansever who has Down Syndrome; Tolga Kaan Tungur who has motor impairment and their teacher, Danny Lundmark, a Berklee College of Music graduate. They are joined by fellow musicians Onur Hacet , Güntaç Özdemir, Deniz Gungor, Barış Oktay and Ozkan Yilmaz and Sevaal Ates, the manager of the band.
The Dreams Academy, one of Turkey’s most original NGOs, just released the band’s first CD in June, 2011 with the support of its sponsor Vodafone.
My intention was to capture the joy and unity of the Social Inclusion Band and its musicians, family, friends and followers.
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Volunteers for Peace (VFP), GencTur, Istanbul, Bugday, Istanbul