‘Much more than Laughter’

Gallery / Miz is hosting Tania Sisa’s exhibition titled “More than just laughter” between December 6 and December 12, 2022. The photographs in the exhibition present “Theodora Sevgi Doktorları”, a team of specially trained, professional artists who visit long-term hospitalized children every week and give them moments of joy and laughter.

“Theodora Sevgi Doktorları” is the project of Theodora Foundation in Turkey, established in Switzerland in 1993 (www.theodora.org). The Theodora Foundation was founded in 1993 by the brothers André and Jan Poulie in memory of their mother, who has always offered them love and joy. Since its establishment the Foundation has undertaken the goal of easing the pain of children who have to stay in hospitals and specialized institutions for a long time, by making them smile. Theodora Sevgi Doktorları, currently operating in seven countries and giving laughter and joy to thousands of children every year as a gift, has been visiting children in 9 hospitals in Istanbul and Ankara since 1998. Sevgi Doktorları continue to carry out their work in Turkey under the umbrella of Theodora Child Services Association. The professional Sevgi Doktorları team for a short time steers hospitalized children away from the boring hospital environment and takes them on a journey in a colorful fantasy world. Every week, children look forward to the visit of them with impatience and excitement.

Photographer Tania Sisa, who has contributed to various non-governmental organizations in the past, with photography projects she has designed, knocks on the door of “Theodora Sevgi Doktorları” with an offer to collaborate on a different social responsibility project in 2019. Working even during the pandemic, Sisa and the Theodora Sevgi Doktorları team have laid the foundations of this extraordinary exhibition project together. Galeri / Miz, a distinguished gallery, which has been providing a platform for art lovers since 2011, opens its doors and contributes to this exhibition, formed as a result of meticulous interviews and shootings.

Theodora Sevgi Doktorları believe that it is necessary to establish and encourage a ‘heart-to-heart’ contact between the artist and the child. In order to achieve this, every Sevgi Doktoru begins by asking permission to enter the room or ward. What is offered is unique, no two interactions are ever the same. Every child is different and hospitals are constantly changing environments. Therefore, each Sevgi Doktoru can show his/her creativity to the fullest extent through art performances. Regardless of the form chosen, the most important thing is to

always to keep up with the child and make him feel light and cheerful for a magical moment. In any case, the visit, like an echo, aims to improve the well-being of the child, which will continue also after the visit of the artist. The Sevgi Doktoru is a figure who, with his/her genuine personality, uniqueness, professionalism and grace, creates a sparkling and poetic universe that offers moments of escape to sick children, their parents and medical staff. Sisa talks with each of the Sevgi Doktoru about their dreams and turns these into photographs. The artist captures these magical moments in her photographs. This inspiring imaginary world depicted in photographs offers a safe, comforting break to real-life hospitalized children and makes this difficult situation less dramatic for them. Thus, even for a short time, children return to the carefree life that is the symbol of childhood.

This beautiful exhibition has two more legs. First of all, Coşkun Aral, İzzet Keribar and Ercan Arslan -esteemed photographers of our country- each contribute to this special exhibition with two of their photographs. The photographs reflecting the moments when journalist/photojournalist Ercan Arslan has photographed Istanbul with a group of young Istanbul lovers will also take their place in this exhibition, which is another feature of the exhibition. Eventually, these youngsters will have supported their hospitalized brothers & sisters with their Istanbul photography.

Born in Istanbul in 1971, Tania Sisa is a graduate of Istanbul Marmara University, Faculty of Business Administration. After working in the medical publishing industry for twenty years, she received several trainings due to her interest in photography and became a member of IFSAK (Istanbul Photography and Cinema Amateurs Association). She is still active in the Board of Directors of the Association. In 2015, she has professionally begun to work as a birth photographer. With the exhibition “Pati Photography Project” and calendar sales she has organized for the benefit of stray animals she has continued to contribute to various non-governmental organizations with her photography, Sisa, who has opened a photography studio named “Fotokare” in Maslak, Istanbul, provides shooting and album printing services on commercial product photography as well as family and baby photography. The artist continues to participate in various photography workshops and exhibitions at home and abroad with pleasure.