My name is Sükran.
I always enjoy meeting new people from various countries and different perspectives as a Sociology student from Turkey. After doing my AFS Exchange Program in Belgium and getting involved in an international peace project in the Netherlands, I said “why not to apply the Erasmus internship program which gives an opportunity to work in different European countries for 3 months”.
The city of Mainz was a kind of un-existing place for me a few months ago. I have never heard the name of this beautiful city when I was in Turkey. I think, and also what I have heard so far, when it comes to speaking about Germany, is that most of the people from other countries only know; cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, or Nürnberg, but not Mainz.
When I have arrived here to start my Erasmus internship in an international research and publishing company, Value Communication AG in where I get the chance to work with a professional analyst and the founder of Value Communication, Andreas Weber, I was fascinated by the rich cultural and artistic environment of Mainz as the hometown of Johannes Gutenberg and the surrounding area as a leading centre of the culture of communication. It was an emotion that feels like a magic from the history but still existing with its modern face in today`s world.
All these feelings and ideas made me think about the lack of sufficient information and effective communication mediums about the existence of a 2000-year-old city. On that moment, I have decided to create a project which we called´Value Art+Communication Project´ in order to showcase the real value of Mainz without turning it to a touristic advertisement.
In the very beginning, I have prepared a scenario considering the steps of my city experience in Mainz as a project. The scenario I prepared contains realizing the rich history of the city, taking photos in several points in Mainz (not only touristic ones), interviewing with people with different professions who somehow experience Mainz; from minister president of Rheinland-Pfalz state to international students and from business executives to artists, and writing blog posts combining the interviews we called as ValueTalk! and Mainz as a cultural center of communication.
I think, the real value of communication is to experience life itself without taboos and to be able to live with other living beings by exchanging ideas and emotions without discriminating them. It is the communication itself where we can integrate every aspect of life with different perspectives. What makes communication valuable is the lifelong experience each of us has in an unique way. That’s why each of candidates I interviewed by asking the same question, what is the real value of communication, they answered in different ways but none of them denied the fact that communication is valuable and important.
I think the real value of communication for me now, is experiencing the city of Mainz with amazing people I got chance to meet, home-like environment in where I work, and the fascinating culture and history behind. I am very happy to become a part of this experience!
Danke schön! Tschüss!
Şükran Ceren Salalı came from Istanbul to Mainz for a 3 month stay.
Painting: Ying Lin-Sill. Photo: Andreas Weber