Culture programs to continue for Turkey with art residency, projects

Culture programs to continue for Turkey with art residency, projects

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Culture programs to continue for Turkey with art residency, projects

Margaret Jack (above), British Council director Turkey says, ‘The British Council is supporting 20 Turkish writers, identified after wide consultation with partners, writers, readers and literature experts.’

As Turkey is the guest of honor at the 2013 London Book Fair, a Turkish delegation of writers, translators and academics totaling 120 people attended more than 50 cultural and professional activities as part of the fair.

After the London Book Fair, the program for May includes the Art in Movement film festival, which will take place in seven cities on the Black Sea coast, celebrating European film in partnership with the European Union National Institutes for Culture. “We are also working with Anadolu Kültür to provide a residency in Diyarbakır for a video artist from the U.K. who will work with the local community to create new video art. We have some particularly exciting and inspiring projects in contemporary art and film lined up for the autumn,” said Karen Brodie, British Council Turkey head of arts.

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News, Margaret Jack, British Council director Turkey said, “The British Council is supporting 20 writers, identified after wide consultation with partners, writers, readers and literature experts in both Turkey and the U.K. in order to find a selection of writers who best represent the range of contemporary writing from Turkey and would be of interest to U.K. audiences.”

“We have selected writers for their artistic excellence and diversity. The group includes novelists, poets, nonfiction writers, children’s writers, established and emerging writers. Through our selection we aim to showcase the diversity and quality of contemporary writing from Turkey,” she added.

At every event in the U.K. the writer from Turkey will share a platform with writers from the U.K., which will enable an exchange of ideas and opportunities to explore creative and cultural connections.

The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels, Jack said. “Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalize on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future.”

The Market Focus initiative shines a spotlight on literature and publishing from the selected country. This year Turkey is the Market Focus country, according to Jack. “In partnership with the London Book Fair we have developed a Cultural Program to support the Market Focus, which creates cultural and commercial opportunities for the U.K. and Turkey.”

The cultural program

The Cultural Program culminates this month at the London Book Fair. “We’re bringing a delegation of 20 writers from Turkey to the U.K. to participate in a series of high-profile events and discussions across London and the rest of the U.K.,” said Jack. In partnership with the London Book Fair, the Turkish National Organizing Committee for International Book Fairs and leading publishing and cultural organizations in the U.K., the program will showcase the diversity and quality of contemporary literature from Turkey and will give U.K. audiences and publishers an opportunity to engage with writers and cultural commentators from Turkey. “The writers from Turkey will share platforms with leading writers from the U.K. to continue exchanging ideas and building links between our countries.” Jack said it was possible the two countries would cooperate in other kinds of cultural events in the future. “The Cultural Program does much to open doors, creating cultural connections and promoting greater understanding of the U.K. in Turkey and of Turkey in the U.K. We know from previous experience that many organizations and individuals make the most of the opportunities we present during the Cultural Program to develop longer-term partnerships between the U.K. and Turkey.”

“This coming year we will be working with partners across Turkey and the U.K. on exciting projects to bring together artists and professionals in film, visual arts, music, design, fashion, theater and literature.” Orhan Pamuk was invited to be a part of the cultural program but unfortunately was unable to accept the invitation, said Brodie. “He stated, ‘Following an extended period of travel Orhan Pamuk is keen to dedicate his time to focus on projects at the Museum of Innocence and needs to remain in Istanbul at this time.’ He has been very supportive of the project and we are delighted to be working with his Museum of Innocence to support the first international exhibition from the Museum of Innocence at the Design Museum in London between March and July.”