Activist art to try to save heritage of Istanbul
Turkish TV series such as “The Magnificent Century” and “Forbidden Love” enjoyed a successful 2011, breaking viewer records in the Middle East while raising Turkey’s clout in the region through the promotion of a Turkish lifestyle.
Beyond merely promoting Turkey overseas, the series brought in much-needed foreign currency, as the country earned more than $60 million this year alone by exporting TV series.
More than 100 Turkish TV series were watched in over 20 countries this year.
2011 also witnessed the 12th Istanbul Biennial’s artistic selection, which provided a depiction of the universality of the human condition under the direction of Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann.
At the same time, Nuri Bilge Ceylan latest film, “Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da” (Once Upon A Time in Anatolia), which won the Grand Prix at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, was released in France on Nov. 2 and has been viewed by more than 100,000 people since then.
Turkey’s prominent rock bands gathered to raise charity funds through a concert on Oct. 30 for the eastern province of Van, which was badly damaged by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake one week earlier. The rockers raised around 500,000 Turkish Liras, which will facilitate the construction of a new primary school in the province.
Cultural prospects for 2012
The ongoing legal wrangling over the prospective demolition of process for the historical Emek and Majik theaters and their replacement with giant shopping malls marks a disappointing start to 2012 in terms of the preservation of urban cultural values. Artists, activists and specialists at the Istanbul Chamber of Architects have suggested there could be similar moves against cultural heritage in Istanbul this year.
2012 will likely see rising activist protests against the ruling party’s urban policy.
Turkey, which has become a popular destination for foreign film producers in recent years, will continue to increase its popularity in 2012 with new arrangements that will make it easier for producers to film here.
A new art prize will give budding artists a platform to publicize their work and the opportunity to gain recognition on the art scene. The Full Art Prize aims to open new pathways for young artists under the age of 40 and is designed to build awareness around contemporary art and contemporary artists while supporting the creations of young artists in long-term projects. The winning artist will receive 25,000 Turkish Liras.