Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Rainbow Steps

Image by Ozan Kose ,Getty Images, via The Huffington Post
You may have seen this splash of colour last year as the story rapidly graced screens across the world (there's a lovely article by Huffington Post on it), but we thought we'd share it here as we're celebrating so much colour this month.

How it began:

On the 27th August last year, retired Huseyin Cetinel of Istanbul, spent a week of his time and over R7500 (1,500 Turkish Liras) painting a tremendous staircase in his local district to transform it into a 145 step rainbow. It was a personal project, absent of any particular motivation other than to add colour and beauty to his environment, and to make passers-by smile. His community loved the idea and tweets began spreading its fame so that it quickly became a landmark backdrop for passing tourists.
Image by Ozan Kose ,Getty Images, via The Huffington Post
 What happened:

On the night of 29th August, the stairs were quietly repainted grey, returning them to their original dull state. Although the local government denied the action, there were numerous eye-witnesses who claimed that the painters were dressed as municipal workers and municipality vehicles were present there the next morning.

How the community responded:

Within hours after the repainting, the outrage of the local community spread hotly through social media streams, and the weight of such an angry reaction was obviously felt by the municipality of Beyoglu as, once again, the steps were freshly painted, returning them to their happy rainbow state - this time by the government. The flood of colour didn't stop there, though, ordinary civilians in different neighbourhoods banded together and defiantly painted other stairs and public spaces bright colours, spreading the feeling of hope and reclaimed power that the incident unintentionally inspired.
Image by Ozan Kose ,Getty Images, via The Huffington Post

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