UNBLOCKING

A research and networking workshop in İstanbul 18th – 22nd of January 2016 – TAK (Kadıköy) organized by RCE (Paris) with local organisers Terra Musica (İstanbul) and amberPlatform (İstanbul) in collaboration with Bunker (Ljubljana).

Independent Art As A Social Necessity
Workshop Leader: Ekmel Ertan

Pelin Başaran stated in her research on privatization of culture in Turkey, in the last three decades “The state was minimized in accordance with neo-liberal principles and lost its control over many spheres, including culture. With the “liberalization” of culture, the wealthy class, which sought the restoration of its hegemony, started to act in the cultural sphere with its lifestyles and habits, and with its cultural investments in which economic and social capital were transformed into each other. Since the 1980s, the leading families in Turkey have opened their own museums among them the Sadberk Hanım Museum, the Rahmi Koç Museum, the Istanbul Modern, the Pera Museum, the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, and the Çengelhan Museum. They exhibit their large private collections either in their old mansions or in other historical buildings. In addition, corporations like Garanti Bank, Akbank, İşBank, Yapı Kredi Bank, Siemens, and Borusan Holding have established their own cultural centers and galleries.” (Başaran) And Esra Aysun points that 1980 -that Başaran mentioned above- is not a random year “[…] coup d’état in 1980 left the civil society weak implying serious legal restrictions, creating a big gap among the state officials and the professionals of the culture sector. This gap has caused the state to position itself in opposition to the contemporary artistic and cultural production, and implement occasional censorship to art works and artists in the name of protecting the moral or religious rights of the society.” (Aysun)