Thursday 23 February 2023

16:30–18:30 (Theatre Space)

Public Actor’s Workshop “Dîwan” with Mîrza Metîn, including discussion

In the workshop, Mîrza Metîn will talk about his anti-colonial theoretical research called “Fire Dramaturgy” and his development of an acting training called “Dîwan” in the axis of the fire element, which brings together different narrative, dance and sound forms such as govend, semah, dengbêj, çîrokbêj, şivan.

Mîrza Metîn was born in North Kurdistan in 1980 and grew up in Istanbul, has been living in Köln for 4 years. Mirza is involved with theatre since 1995. He studied acting at the Mezopotamya Culture Center and Seyri Mesel Theatre. He studied dance and music for three years at the Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory Department of Folk Dance and went on to graduate from the Istanbul University Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. He co-founded Şermola Performans with Berfin Zenderlioğlu in Istanbul in 2008. Later in 2018, he co-founded Şermola’s Germany branch in Köln with Hicran Demir. He was awarded with many Theatre Prizes in Istanbul and abroad and was invited to many festivals and fellowships for the plays he has written, directed and performed. Of the seventeen plays he has written to date, fifteen have been staged either by himself or by other directors. Some of his plays have been translated into Zaza, Turkish, German, English, French and Hungarian. He is the Kurdish Committee coordinator for Eurodram, the European Network for Drama in Translation and he is the founding editor of Dialog theater magazine.

19:00–21:00 (Conference Space)

Roundtable Panel, “Berlin’s Cultural Production in Exile and at Risk: Strategies of Self-Fashioning”

This roundtable explores with artists, who are ‘at risk’ or in ‘self-exile’ from different disciplines and backgrounds (Turkey, Kurdistan, Iraq, Iran, Belarus, Ukraine), the artistic strategies and solutions to situations of cultural adaptation and precarity in the new temporary home, Berlin.

Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu (Berlin & Istanbul) is an artist working mostly in the field of performance art. Darıcıoğlu mainly makes long-durational live performances but also videos, installations and public interventions. In her* performances, she* investigates the physical/emotional limits, boundaries and potentials of the body. Taking this corporal approach as a core, Darıcıoğlu is interested in chronopolitics and necropolitics from a perspective focusing and centralising on marginalised bodies’ vulnerability and strength. She* works on Queer appropriation methodologies of the past and the present from a non-Western perspective and develops corporal strategies to address minority groups’ histories excluded from hegemonic history. Darıcıoğlu has shown her* works at SALT Beyoğlu; STAMP Festival; Ornemanta24; Schwules Museum; Kunsthalle St Annen; Galerie Wedding; DEPO Istanbul; among others. Some of the residency programs that she* participated in are “CAMP – Art educators in residence” as part of documenta15 [11 – 25 August. 2022]; “Istanbul-Berlin exchange” held by nGbK, ZK/U and DEPO Istanbul; “Artists in residence” at Warehouse9; “Artist residency” at Forum Dança.*

Maria Kulchytska is a Ukrainian artist. Because of the war she has to start a new life in Berlin. She has studied photography and art for 12 years, during which time she took a professional interest in ballet photography and traveled all over Europe with ballet festivals, theaters and artists. Her works took part in the Photo biennale and were published on the covers of European magazines. Maria photographed an advertising campaign for Nike and taught at the Institute of Photography. Her work has been featured by Sotheby’s staff and is exhibited in several galleries in Europe from Berlin to Marbella and Florence. The world of ballet photography is not only her passion: it is a guide for her to understand and study corporality. Maria sincerely believes that a person should be able to surround oneself with beauty, meaning and soul. Her photographs are timeless and fashionable, in which not only her soul lives, but also the soul of every ballerina depicted in the photo.

Vasilisa Palianina (1986 in Minsk, Belarus) is an artist living and working in Minsk and Berlin. In 2009 she graduated from Belarusian State University and has been participating in exhibitions since 2015. She works with sexual and gender identity themes, explores animal and human nature, as well as politics viewed through mythological language. She uses different media such as graphics, installation, performance and experimental techniques. Since 2019 she has also been a member of the “Who Except Us” art group (with Andrey Anro). Vasilisa has three solo and more than twenty group exhibitions, as well as the following art fairs: Blazar Young Art Fair / Museum of Moscow / Moscow, Russia (2020) and Viennacontemporary / Vienna, Austria (2020 and 2021). She participated in various residencies including : Scholarship Program “Gaude Polonia”, Warsaw, Poland (2019); art group “Slavs and Tatars. Pickle Bar”, Berlin, Germany; “MRI”, Akademie der Künste, Germany (2022-2023).

Diren Demir was born in 1997 to a Kurdish-Turkish family in Istanbul. He focuses on destroying the toxic-masculine culture or creating transforming solutions in their artworks. The theme of “disclosure” can be seen frequently in Diren’s works. Bio-politics and the body – dictatorship relationship are one of the areas of conflict when Diren use the context of disclosure. They usually use the “pure existence” of their own body relating it to public nudism. As an artist working in the public space, Diren creates new ways of encountering and new ways of communicating with the audience. So the art / action space is often the streets where Diren can easily find the participation and interaction they need. One of the main purposes of Diren is to change, reconstruct or sometimes destroy social codes. Therefore, the liberating aspect in which Diren places the audience in the new ways of encountering and interactive spaces are the major factors. Diren continually explores aesthetic ways of doing this within the framework of community and participatory art. In addition to the queer-themed work Diren uses the body context while demolishing stereotypical gender prisons.

Barış Seyitvan is a Kurdish curator and artist previously based in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, working around the themes of contemporary art and migration, conflict, imprisonment and torture, nomadism, and exile. Graduating in 2004 in Fine Arts Education at Dicle University, Seyitvan went on to complete a Masters in Artuklu University in 2017, while continuing his curatorial and artistic practice in Turkey and the EU. From 2009 to 2017 Seytivan was curator at the Amed Art Gallery and Municipality Art Gallery, Diyarbakır-Turkey, where he promoted enquiry through contemporary art within a local context. In 2017 he coordinated the joint project of NBK and ASA (Autonomous Space Agency) in Berlin, which offered grants and assistance to artists collectives and associations from the wider Mesopotamia region to run contemporary spaces in at risk areas. He was also co-coordinator of the Istanbul art fair in 2017 and has curated exhibitions in Galerie Hinterland, Vienna, and in Zurich. In 2019,  Seyitvan was an Artist at Risk (AR) Resident based at HIAP Suomenlinna in Finland.

Shirin Ashkari is an Iranian painter based in Berlin. She studied painting at the University of Art in Marlik, Noshahr, Iran and worked as grafic designer, painter and photographer. In her work she uses different materials and techniques. In her research she focuses on nature, memories and criticizes the pressure of  modern life. Currently she studies fine art teaching at the UdK, University of Art Berlin. Shirin was artist in residence of B.L.O. Ateliers, “Hier & Jetzt: Connections” in 2018.

21:00-22:00 (Concert Space/Hall)

Concert by babelfis: Acoustic

An acoustic performance by babelfis featuring Serkan Emre Çiftçi on trumpet.

babelfis is an indie/pop duo formed by musicians Sevda Hamzacebi and Cem Dinler. Founded in Istanbul – now based in Berlin, the band pursues all kinds of stories that they have grown up listening to. See for more info:

During the concert, we will raise money (on Spende-basis) for the victims of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The returns will go to Lubunya Deprem Dayanışması initiative in support of the queers and sex workers in the earthquake region.

* As an artist who disagrees with the binary gender system, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu uses “she/her” as strikethrough with an asterisk in writings and takes “they/them” in verbal language.