The digital conference series “Cultural Encounters: The Ecology of Arts and Culture” invited all interested artists, cultural professionals, and interested individuals to the public sessions of this three-part event in which participants from our partner cities in Izmir, Gaziantep, and Diyarbakır, as well as invited speakers and professionals, explored the changing climate of the cultural scene across Turkey in 2020.
The conferences were realized by ‘Spaces of Culture’ in collaboration with the curatorial collective ´A Corner in the World´ for the third time, connecting cultural organizations, artists, and operators in the regions of Gaziantep, Izmir, and Diyarbakir and providing a platform for discussions on cultural practices and exchange. The new pandemic conditions in 2020 affected the world of arts and culture gravely. New strategies for sustainability have become a necessity. During the conference program, the concept of culture as a system parallel to ecology, a living organism rather than a mechanism, based on John Holden’s work, was explored to gain a wider perspective on the status quo of cultural activity, and how to continue from here.
The term ‘ecology of culture’ implies that culture is a communal phenomenon, with various elements coming together to produce a whole. As with the natural ecosystem, the cultural ecosystem cannot be considered as separate from any of its individual elements – cultural organizations, operators, artists, audiences -, but rather as an interconnected system, dependent on complex relations, in which each part shapes the system and is influenced by it in return.
The three different modules took place on three subsequent weekends with the following focus topics:
CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS I: The Regenerative Life Cycle of Arts, 27-29 November, Keynote Speaker: Vasıf Kortun
CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS II: Modes of Collectivity in Arts and Culture, 4-6 December, Keynote Speaker: Doç. Dr. Serhan Ada
CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS III: Cultural Networks within a Creative Ecosystem, 11-13 December, Keynote Speaker: Nan Van Houte