Youth and cultural centres around Germany all have the same aim - to offer a series of musical, cultural, crafty, and sportive activities in the local community; but what special features are available in the more deprived areas of Germany, where a large portion of the youth have grown up with a different culture and language.

Comedian Idil Baydar, also known as “Jilet Ayse“ - a Berlin Ghetto Girl humorously challenging all the clichés associated with her community, is considered as one of the few significant helpers reflecting the way social media portrays our youth subculture.

The inspiration for the role of Jilet Ayse stems from a special youth facility, the DTK water tower based in Kreuzberg - Berlin, where the majority of teenagers are of Turkish descent. Her videos are very popular amongst the teens on Youtube, as she swears and swanks in a language that this generation have created for themselves.

“disdas“ is a personal form of expression for these kids, it is a label that they can call their own.

Hakan Aslan, head of the youth Cultural Centre DTK water tower knows the city's dialect fluently thanks to the teenagers he often works with. He has developed many different ways for them to communicate in their spoken language in a more positive way for example through hip-hop recording sessions or specially created video clips.

In the activities offered in this youth centre, young people are free to express themselves freely, but taught that this is only possible if done in a pro-active, positive and creative manner.
In collaboration with the DTK youth centre, Jilet Ayse established the T-Shirt project disdas initially as a print screen workshop to keep the kids busy! In addition to an autograph session came a group photo shoot in which the auto-printed tees were modelled by the youths themselves.

The disdas T-shirts are now available to purchase on Amazon, with a portion of the revenue being injected into the DTK youth centre. More information on the DTK youth centre at www.dtk-wasserturm.de.

Photo by Vitali Gelwich

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