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Kırkayak Kültür Derneği - LAG Kunst & Medien

Kırkayak Kültür Sanat ve Doğa Derneği
Gaziantep, Turkey

Areas of work: Social Cohesion, Culture, and Arts
Social media accounts: @KirkayakKultur (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)

LAG Kunst & Medien
Dortmund, Germany

Areas of work: Youth, cultural education
Social media accounts: @lagkm, 

Our cooperation started before the CSE Program when Kemal Vural Tarlan from Kirkayak Kültür and Fleur Vogel from LAG Kunst & Medien met in Istanbul in November 2019 at a conference. We took an instant liking to each other and were eager to start a cooperation. Then Covid-19 came along… But we stayed in touch!

In September 2020 Kemal sent LAG K&M a link to the CSE Call for application. This was our chance to connect and actually start building our cooperation. When the CSE Program started in November 2020 we were still hoping to be able to meet again, visit each other in person and organise a job shadowing experience. That turned out to be impossible. But we didn’t lose out optimism and changed our plans accordingly. 

During the CSE program we organised a digital artist exchange between 17th of May till 22nd of June 2021 in which 20 artists from our networks took part. The aim was to connect our networks in order to lay a strong interpersonal foundation for future cooperation projects. LAG Kunst & Medien and Kirkayak Kültür both strongly believe in the positive effects arts education has on the development of strong personalities as well as community building across cultural differences and language barriers.

Both our institutions rely on the creative works of artists from different fields such as music, media art (photography & film), visual arts, street art and literature. In order to exchange ideas and learn from each other’s methods we needed to enable artists from Germany and Turkey to step into communication. Our exchange offered both a particularly low-threshold for artists who had no experience in international collaboration as well as the chance to learn new perspectives and meet foreign artists in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

After a series of sub group meetings organised by 5 artist groups on photography as a tool to discover the world (cartoonists, children book illustrators, etc.), art in public spaces as a tool to participate in society (2 groups – actors vs. grafitti), music as a tool and biography work as testimony (poetry, etc.) we organised a closing event where all participants came together once more to present their own exchanges in the small groups and learn about the process in the other groups. Each participant shared their own experiences and gave feedback. The total number of all meetings were more than 100, can you believe it?

By organising this very time consuming exchange Deniz Deniz Cengiz from Kırkayak Kültür and Fleur Vogel from LAG K&M hope to have established a healthy interpersonal network from which we can start to do projects both digitally and physically with each other. The intensity of the meetings opened new perspectives to the participants and the organisers, helped in understanding each other’s life and work environments and gave inspiration for future projects. Kirkayak Kültür and the LAG Kunst & Medien are working currently on two project applications. So the outcome is a functional partnership that lasts beyond the CSE Program.


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