The Pilot Project: Istanbul #2
The Pilot Project: Istanbul #2
'Towards creating a mobility tool kit for young artists'
The Beykent University in Istanbul is one of the Trans Artists' educational partners in the Prologue' network. In February 2009 the visual arts department of Beykent was so generous to facilitate the Trans Artists' Workshop and to contribute to the 'Prologue' network. This European network was established last spring by Trans Artists and aims at making art students more aware of the international artist-in-residence opportunities world wide. It turns out that there is still a big need for guiding future young artists through the world of 'possible' international artistic experiences. The network strives for creating a jointly vocabulary in which we speak the same language 'art wise' and benefit from each other's expertise. This is necessary to offer young artists from all regions of Europe more access to 'mobility within Europe'. Trans Artists is now in the process of making an inventory on 'what is needed' in the different regions of Europe. The results of this research will be published online in a customised 'tool kit' which will contain practical handholds and tips on 'how to become an artist-in-residence'. Visiting the Beykent University in Turkey has given the Trans Artists' staff more insight on the Turkish situation in terms of 'what is offered' and 'what is needed' for Turkish art students and artists to go and work abroad.
'Some notes on the Turkish situation'
At the Beykent University Trans Artists talks to Mrs. Ilgim Veryeri Alaca who is the 'Turkish correspondent' for the Prologue Network. At the moment she dedicates her time teaching visual art students at the Beykent University not only the skills of the art of painting but also the art of 'how to broaden and intensify your artistic and human experience'. Having quite a lot if international working experience herself Ilgim understands and emphasizes the importance of 'leaving your comfort zone' in order to broaden your mind and awareness of the world around you; embracing the 'otherness'. Ilgim beliefs in sharing intelligence and experiences, because she realizes this is the first step in raising awareness of 'what is possible' in terms of 'international cultural encounters'.
'What is Needed'
Wherever needed Ilgim Veryeri Alaca informs interested artists on existing international programs and opportunities. This is important she says, since there is not 'lively infrastructure' at the moment for Turkish students and young artists to work abroad in a professional context. There are still quite some difficulties (varying from raising awareness and educating staff to more practical disadvantages as financial, language and visa barriers) to tackle before the Turkish artists have more confidence, knowledge and skills to apply succesfully to one of the many European artist-in-residence programs. Hopefully the Prologue Network can contribute in 'overcoming these barriers' by sharing its intelligence and offering a platform where interested artists can turn to for assistance.
Trans Artists would like to thank the following members of the Beykent University in person; dean Professor Veysel Gunay, the associate dean Professor Zekiye Sarikartal and the valuable input and hospitality of Professor Ilgim Veryeri Alaca.