In a fast-paced, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news coverage atmosphere with rapidly changing current affairs and news content, most of the reporting is about dry and opaque statistics and facts. Yet numbers alone cannot possibly represent human lives.

PEOPLE ARE NOT NUMBERS is a documentary series idea which aims at turning the statistics used in news coverage into narratives about specific persons by focusing on the people behind “the numbers”, telling the vivid stories of individuals, rich in detail and background.

In this course the class will collectively develop the project’s concept PEOPLE ARE NOT NUMBERS into an actual documentary on Syrian refugees living in Istanbul.

The students will work in small teams of three people to produce self-contained three to six minute “portrait” films which explore the refugee experience.

The final documentary will be constructed of these portraits of Syrians that will be positioned thematically to make up the larger whole.