Source: Chai Khana Author: Varduhi Balyan

This is a journey of two individuals with diverse backgrounds, Turkish and Armenian, who over the course of the lockdown discuss many things over coffee, growing closer at a distance.

“In Turkey, the Covid-19 pandemic was dealt with through lockdowns that sometimes lasted for as many as four days. There were also strict measures prohibiting people over the age of 65, like Fatma, from leaving their homes. During those periods, I was often her only bridge with the outside world. A combination of fear about the virus and the required physical distancing started a revival of the fading basket culture in our district. Our basket, which was sent up and down several times a day to carry bread or groceries, came to serve as a new means of communication between Aunt Fatma and me. This short documentary is our story, the tale of our daily communication during the lockdowns caused by Covid-19.  Living in  Kurtuluş, one of the most multicultural and diverse districts of Istanbul, we were left alone with each other and our balconies. This is a journey of two individuals with diverse backgrounds, Turkish and Armenian, who over the course of the lockdown discuss many things over coffee, growing closer at a distance.”

Chai Khana is a multi award-winning regional media platform covering stories about women, rural communities, minorities, and conflict-affected groups in the South Caucasus. Lead by women, Chai Khana aims to give a voice to the under-represented across the region through dynamic human-focused storytelling, while providing mentorship to young journalists.