Reflections on the cultural scene in Istanbul: issues, frictions and proposals

While Turkey is undergoing the process of the elaboration of its cultural policy Istanbul, as the epicenter of cultural production and consumption, is experiencing  a lively debate and ongoing dissensions around all the issues of cultural and artistic arena. How the current process can be defined and what could be the viable solutions? Who are the actors? What are their roles and moves on the cultural check board?

Topics and cases would be adressed and discussed on:
•    The closing of Atatürk Cultural Center in Taksim Square and all subsequent discussions;
•    The privatisation and restoration of the architectural heritages The Emek Movie Theater (ex Cercle d’Orient), Majik Movie Theater or Maksim Casino issues;
•    The achievements or failures of Istanbul European Capital of Culture 2010.

BIO | Assoc. Prof. Dr. Serhan Ada is the head of the Cultural Management (BA & MA) Programme of Istanbul Bilgi University and the founding Director of santralistanbul, an international center for arts, culture. He is also the director of the graduate level (certificate) Program of Fashion Management, and Design Culture and Management. Ada was a visiting professor at GIOCA–Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts Master Program at University of Bologna, Cultural Advisor to Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Vice Chairman of Anadolu Kültür A.Ş. (an independent cultural network creating artistic structures and improving local cultural policies in various cities of Turkey), Interim President of the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO on Cultural Diversity and founding member of AICA Turkey (International Association of Art Critics). Ada also worked as top-level executive and marketing director in brand, product, design and international distribution fields and Urban Culture and Big Events Director respectively at the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency. Ada edited “Turkish Cultural Policy Report: A Civil Perspective”, 2011; “Capital of Culture: Talks Towards the City”, 2011; the first book on the Turkish national cultural policy, entitled “Introduction to Cultural Policies in Turkey” and the periodical “Cultural Policy and Management Yearbook”, both published in 2009. His other publications include: “Festivals of Istanbul”, 2011; “Emerging Cultural Continent: Actors and Networks” (co-editor), 2008; “The Question of Hatay (in Turkish-French Relations, 1918-1939)”, 2005; “İlan-ı Şiir” (poems), 1995. Dr. Ada had a weekly column on culture in the Turkish daily Radikal in between 1996-2010.

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