JEREMIAH DAY, GABRIELE GARAVAGLIA, NIKOLAJ BENDIX SKYUM LARSEN, MARIEKE WARMELINK, ANNA BAK, SOPHIA POMPÉRY
by Anna Zizlsperger
Residencies have become recognised as an important way for artists to develop their career, a significant platform of exchange and an alternative form of education – especially for artists from countries where the arts education is not very strong. They also play a crucial role in the development of local art scenes by providing space and opportunity, as well as an international network and a safety-net, particularly to young artists who are only just starting to face the sometimes difficult realities of the art market. For artists from Western countries staying in an area within the MENASA region, such as Turkey, residencies can provide critical exposure to different socio-political contexts and new ideas, as well as a way to critically engage with the world outside of the residents’ own cultures and comfort zones.
I talked to six artists who temporarily lived and worked in Istanbul to learn about their experiences in the city, their reasons for coming here and what they took with them from their stay. As discontinued non-profit projects have a history of being forgotten very quickly in a fast-paced and constantly changing city like Istanbul, I complemented their stories with the histories of some of the institutions that run or used to run artist residencies in Turkey.