The EU-TR Intercultural Dialogue Programme provides funding for four key projects implemented by cultural actors in Turkey and European Union Member States. The Dialogue continues to be strengthened in a broad landscape from London to Sanliurfa, where the participating organisations bring together different cultural actors for creativity and the events.
The Connect for Creativity project, led by the British Council, brings together key partners from Serbia, Nova Iskra, Greece’s Bios, and ATÖLYE from Turkey and the University of Abdullah Gul. The project was presented to the public at an event held in Bomontiada-Atölye on 7 May 2019. Speaking during the event, Judith Slater, the British Consul General in Istanbul, said that “the world is facing unprecedented social, political and economic challenges and dialogue between individuals, groups, and cultures is very important to solve these challenges”.
Bülent Üçpunar, the head of Strategy Development and Corporate Communications at the Yunus Emre Institute, stressed that they are working “as an institute to develop and strengthen cultural relations between Turkey and other countries” and “together the most beautiful stories of international cultural relations were being created. The history of the world and our particular history are full of such good examples. The Intercultural Dialogue Programme, co-financed by the EU and Turkey, is one of these great stories. There was a long process of preparation for this programme and eventually resulted in a decision to fund 4 major grant projects.”
The Event continued with the speech of London University Faculty Member Andy Pratt where he offered fresh perspectives for the project, and the culture/arts industry. “It is very important to create environments where information is not commercialized,” Pratt said, adding that “people are more easily able to solve problems when they come together. For example, it is important to know what someone is doing in a project or know in advance if you like what they do. Thus, we share information with each other. We are transferring information now, and what you need to do is get together and create networks,” he said.
The Connect for Creativity Project has also hosted an international conference in Belgrade, Serbia, from June 12th to June 14th, 2019. The conference, held at the Belgrade Cultural Centre and Factory, was entitled: ‘Creative Backslash: from precarious individuals to resilient organizations’. The event brought together many speakers, artists, creative entrepreneurs, platform representatives, students, academics and policymakers from Europe, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the Balkans. Meeting in presentations, workshops, and discussions, participants had the opportunity to touch on topics such as creative work and mental health, “big economy”, personal development, individual resistance, and organizational design.
Another supported cultural dialogue project is the Diversity in Unity, led by the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Istanbul and implemented in partnership with the Kalem Association and the Turkish European Foundation. The Project hosted a series of events during Europe Day on May 9th. The opening of the Project, which aims to boost cultural interaction between the countries along the Danube and Turkey, was held for the general public at the Kadıköy Özgürlük Parkı. Artists from Hungary, Austria, and Romania participated in the programme.
Kadıköy Özgürlük Parkı activities began with folk music from the music community of the Ethnomusicology Association. Later, Romanian documentary director Alexandru Munteanu’s movie ‘Ada Kaleh – Lost Palace’ was shown. On the second day of the event, the Ethnomusicology Association brought together examples of Balkan folk music to share with the audience. Participants then had the opportunity to watch the ‘Travel of Kysellak’ movie by Chico Klein, an Austrian documentary director. On Saturday (May 11th), the event enjoyed a large weekend audience and used the opportunity to announce the “Stories of the Danube River” literary competition, to be held under the project. Following a literary interview with the jury members of the competition, a concert was held in the memory of Imago Mundi and Dimitrie Cantemir. The event ended with a screening of one of the Hungarian short films.
Be Mobile-Create Together! Project carried out bt the French Cultural Center began with a press conference on March 20, 2019, and soon followed by an Open Call for visiting artist programmes to be held under the project. A total of 26 artists, including 13 artists from France, Germany, and the Netherlands, and 13 from Turkey will be invited to participate in the multi-national arts programme where different artistic centres in Germany, the Netherlands, and Turkey will host the selected artists and various times during the life of the project.
The project aims to facilitate artists for a deeper understanding of local culture, to become involved in the local art environment, to make new connections, to share ideas, to inspire each other, to carry out art projects and research, as well as to collaborate and produce with artists from their host countries.
Be Mobile – Create together!’ has received over 600 applications for the visiting artist programme, and nearly 60 percent came from Turkish artists, followed by applications from France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The applications are being intensively reviewed and evaluated. They cover a range of media, from the field of visual and digital arts, performance arts and literature. The winning artists will be announced at the end of June.
The Intercultural Dialogue Programme Projects will continue to combine colourful activities and different languages and cultures in different regions of Europe and Turkey during the summer. Event announcements and news can be followed via the Intercultural Dialogue Programme social media accounts and the web page, and you can be part of these new stories.