A guide to find social glue


A research focussed on the people, places and materials that unconsciously contribute to social cohesion.

From December 9th until December 15th Manon, Julie, Daria and Simone were researching in Istanbul. Galata Sishane, the oldest lighting production district in Istanbul, was their investigation area. The centre of Istanbul is changing rapidly because of economic change. Craftsman and inhabitants are being moved out of the area and are placed into other areas of the city. They wanted to find out what holds a community together: what is their social glue? Is this transportable? They explored community life, and why we humans have a sense of collectivity in our nature.

According to the media, social cohesion is disappearing. Though, at the same time, community gardens and village cooperatives are popping up rapidly. Government and municipalities are more frequently organizing projects with the goal of increasing contact within the district. This book is a manifest of the unorganized social glue. The people, places or materials that unconsciously contribute to social cohesion.

Julie van den Boorn, Simone Wouters, Daria Biyrukova, Manon van Hoeckel


Photo series

When stores are in a neighbourhood for a long time, regular customers and store owners get to know each other. This creates a shared sense of responsibility, for example, the outdoor space. (Joke van der Zwaard 2010)

In Istanbul, this sense of shared responsibility is very visual. The inhabitants take care of the streets and the animals who live there. 

In these books, you find a series of pictures from the different neighbourhood pets and brooms of Istanbul. These series are a small part of the research that we did in Istanbul. Part of Simone's contribution to the project was these series of photo's.