Another view: What’s the place for arts and culture in the city?
Recently I had the pleasure to participate in the “Making places for the arts” workshop that took place in Istanbul on 2-5 March 2011. The workshop was developed (and brilliantly hosted) by cˇu'm„a*, Contemporary Utopia Management, in collaboration with Relais Culture Europe in the framework of the "Istanbul Europe Express" project. The topic should definitely be of interest to anyone concerned with the role of independent cultural centres and their impact on the fabric of the city, (not to mention the amazing Istanbul hospitality).
The aim of the workshop was to address the role and place of cultural and artistic players in the challenges of contemporary metropolises, focusing specifically on Istanbul. If that sounds a bit dry and conceptual, let me assure you the organizers’ approach was far from it.
Instead of the usual workshop format, on our first day participants were exposed head-on to Istanbul realities by urban trekking, which were lead by knowledgeable cultural operators and covered topics from “Gentrification”, to “Inclusion and Governance” and “Fragmentation and Ecology. The second day was designated for reflection, informal group sharing and collaborative brainstorming, while the third day culminated in a public seminar. All that was supported beforehand by exhaustive collection of texts via the Delicious platform and even a special social network, hosted at Ning.
It was beautifully exhausting, insightful and energising at the same time – and definitely an approach to adopt, if we consider addressing our own role(s) and relations with the city.
From Istanbul with love;
Marko Brumen; muti-culti-vator
Read more at cˇu'm„a*