Amber Festival is the largest event in Turkey in the field of arts and technology. It takes place every year in the second week of November and is organised by Amber Platform. The festival is held in a variety of venues in Istanbul. Amber’09 was organised by BIS Body-Process Arts, an interdisciplinary association that focuses on artistic performance and technology.
Akbank Short Film Festival
Akbank Short Film Festival was held for the first time in 2004. It has developed further over the years into an arts and culture event in Istanbul with an increasingly diverse programme. The festival aims to encourage short film production, to deliver the films to audiences, to support new filmmakers, to champion short film internationally, to provide a debate platform for short film within a festival culture and to establish a festival for cinema-lovers to enjoy.
The 13th edition of Contemporary Istanbul took place from September 20-23, 2018 at the Istanbul Congress Centre (ICC) and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC) and had more than 80,000 visitors. It is the most extensive modern and contemporary art fair in Turkey and is held annually. Contemporary Istanbul hosts national and international galleries, collectors, museum directors, curators, art critics, members of the press, art lovers and artists from all over the world. In addition to the main event, Contemporary Istanbul organises several side events and art projects such as conferences and exhibitions, with the aim of contributing to the country’s contemporary art development throughout the year.
International Student Triennial
The International Student Triennial was organised by the Marmara University – Faculty of Fine Arts for the seventh time in 2018. This triennal has been held every year since 1997 and has become a fixture on the annual arts programme. With its ever-increasing number of participants, the triennial hosted a record number of participants with the support of Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency in 2010. In that year, 93 organisations and 500 students from 44 countries joined the event with the theme “East of the West, West of the East: New Approaches in Art and Design”.
The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) has been organising the International Istanbul Biennial since 1987. The biennial aims to create a meeting point in Istanbul between artists from diverse cultures and audiences in Turkey in the field of contemporary visual art. The 15 biennials IKSV has organised up to now have enabled the formation of an international cultural network between local and international art circles, artists, curators and art critics. They do so by bringing together every two years new trends in contemporary art. After the first two biennials had been realised under the general coordination of Beral Madra in 1987 and 1989, IKSV decided to adapt a single curator system following the Istanbul Biennial directed by Vasıf Kortun in 1992. The biennial was organised under the curatorship of René Block in 1995, Rosa Martínez in 1997, Paolo Colombo in 1999, Yuko Hasegawa in 2001, Dan Cameron in 2003, Charles Esche and Vasıf Kortun in 2005, Hou Hanru in 2007, What, How & for Whom/WHW in 2009, and Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann in 2011. Fulya Erdemci, who was the director of the SKOR foundation in the Netherlands from 2008 until 2012 was the curator of the 13th Istanbul Biennial in 2013, which was exposed to harsh criticism after the Gezi protests in the same year. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev curated the 2015 edition and artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset were the curatos of the 15th Istanbul Biennial in 2017. Nicolas Bourriaud is the curator of the upcoming 16th edition in 2019.
Istanbul Design Biennial
Having taken place since 2012, Istanbul Design Biennial aims at bringing together a diverse cross-section of design ideas once every two years, exploring a wide range of fields in design. Using the city as a dynamic space for projects, actions and interventions, the biennial tackles global design problems, brings the notion of design into scrutiny, stimulates critical debate, foregrounds underexplored or overlooked aspects of society and prompts further investigation into and exchange about emerging conditions of the world.
Istanbul Film Festival
First presented as a film week in the summer of 1982 within the framework of the International Istanbul Festival, over the past 36 years the Istanbul Film Festival has presented Istanbul audiences with a total of more than 5,128 films, showcasing the cinema of 109 countries and attracting a total audience number of 3,842,000.
!f Istanbul!f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival was founded in 2002 and every February and March, it hosts some 80,000 film buffs and celebrated filmmakers from around the world. In 2008, !f launched an international film competition – !f Inspired – designed to showcase emerging directors who are taking film in new directions. The competition carries a $5,000 prize for the Most Inspired Director. Love & Change, launched in 2014, is an international platform hosting not only films, but also filmmakers who look at the world through critical eyes and with soft hearts. They believe that another world is possible, and prove through their work that cinematic interventions can make a change.
Mamut Art Project
Mamut Art Project is an art event dedicated to engaging emerging artists with new collectors, galleries and curators, providing an important platform for 50 up-and-coming creative talents working in a range of disciplines throughout Turkey. Sponsored by Akkök Holding, the sixth edition of Mamut Art Project was held in 2018 at Istanbul’s KüçükÇiftlik Park.
Organised with support from the Kadıköy Municipality and ÇEKÜL (Foundation for the Protection and Promotion of Environmental and Cultural Values) since 2012, “Mural Istanbul” is one of the city’s most prominent street art festivals featuring both street artists from Turkey and abroad to paint building-sized murals in the Yeldeğirmeni neighbourhood of Kadıköy.
Step Istanbul art fair is a collaboration of Çağdaş İstanbul and Tomtom Designhood with the goal to make “art accessible to everyone.” Offering an interdisciplinary program with side events, Step Istanbul also features Step Talks including talks/panels on the current dynamics of the global art scene and art production in addition to sections on art criticism, curatorial approaches and new media art. The first edition of the event, held jointly by Contemporary Istanbul and Tomtom Designhood, took place from 25-28 April 2019.