The Pera Foundation was launched in April 2007 with an evening of contemporary music and dance and audiovisual arts from Istanbul and Amsterdam. The cultural heritage of Turkey (Istanbul), religion, and traditional motives formed the ingredients of the program. All these elements were brought on stage with a modern and contemporary view by young artists from Istanbul and Amsterdam. The main audience of Pera is in the age between 20 and 35 and is a mixed Turkish and Dutch audience. Paradiso is a stage for new forms of art and always tries to bring in new audience groups. By focussing on Istanbul as a more and more trendy, hip, modern city with all the oriental characteristics and cultural uniqueness at the same time, Pera and Paradiso are one of the few organisations that actually have a totally mixed crowd of Dutch and Turkish young people. The Pera formula is quite simple but works very effectively; The program always exists of recognizable elements for both the Dutch and Turkish audiences (known names, types of music, visual recognition, popular artists and unknown artists in the same program etc) At the same time Paradiso provides Pera with the assistance and knowledge they have from events and concerts like with Lady Gaga and Erykah Badu and popular festivals like Lovedance and I Like to Watch Too, etc to reach the suitable audience in the Netherlands in general. Within this ‘sandwich’ formula some of our past programmes in the period 2007-2010 were:
- (Tarhana (Dutch Turkish Band) and Mercan Dede featuring Ilhan Ersahin and young Turkish Hip Hop artists from Amsterdam.
- Orientation (German-Turkish band (theme music of Gegen Die Wand) with guest appearences from Turkish Dutch DJ’s and percussion artists from Amsterdam).
- The Amsterdam Klezmer Band featuring Aylin Aslim (Turkish pop-rock singer)
- 3 (sold out with 1300 tickets) editions of Pink Istanbul (a gay and gay minded art and dance event linking the best club DJ’s, VJ’s, dancers, audio-visual artists and performing artsist of Istanbul and Amsterdam (e.g. Joost van Bellen, Onur Ozer, Arkin Allen, Wannabeastar, Ipek, Lupe, Trippin Angels, Uzume, young Turkish audio visual artists from Rietveld academy, Beduk, Hande Yener, etc all performed at the Pink Istanbul art and dance events)
- 3 conferences on GLBT rights in Amsterdam and Istanbul. With speakers from civil society, gay richts activists, journalists, politicians, artists and publicists. Pera/Pink Istanbul actually initiated the first collaboration on GLBT cultural excange between Amsterdam and Istanbul. (excange within cultural/artistic scenes)
- Concerts with Beduk, Cem Adrian, Goksel, (mostly for Turkish young crowd fans of these artists) In 2010 and 2011 Pera plan more of these concerts with more popular names from Istanbul. Because it is possible to do without much financial assistance. There are plenty young Turks who are willing to buy the tickets for these concerts. Plans in October Sebnem Ferah, November Hande Yener, December Nil Karaibrahimgil.
Turkish culture and art is made known in the Netherlands through concerts and other activities. Stichting Kulsan, founded in 1987, especially focuses on creating a cultural bridge through music. They focus on Turkish classical music, mystical music, authentic folk music, and traditional music coming from different ethnic backgrounds in Turkey. In the past 20 years Kulsan organized more than 500 concerts, both with muscicians and artists from Turkey, as well as crossovers between music and musicians from Turkey, Holland and other musical traditions. Kulsan organizes about 30-40 concerts a year, both incidentally, in tours or on festivals. Kulsan also takes Dutch groups to Turkey, and even organizes Turkish film festivals in collaboration with other organisations.
Kulsan not only has film and music activities, but also has a national advisory-, information- and mediation function on the broader area of art and culture from Turkey. In 2007 Kulsan organised the first Turkey Now! Festival, which had more editions in 2008 and 2010, and one is planned for 2012. More information about this festival can be found in the “Festivals with Turkish music in the Netherlands” section of this chapter.
For her activities Kulsan has a large network in Turkey with artists, academics and advisers for art and culture. Kulsan is structurally funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences and the Municipality of Amsterdam.
Interview with Stichting Kulsan, conducted in 1995, with some interesting information. http://www.tetterettet.nl/weblog/pivot/entry.php?id=69&%3Bmonth=12&%3Byear=1995
Sahmeran is an events organization which has been organizing Turkish events since 1996. They began as a group of Turkish students who wanted to organize an event on an academic level, and this event was named Sahmeran Akademik Eglence. This was the starting point for the organization of more of these kinds of events. Now, almost 15 years later, Sahmeran organizes on average 15 succesful events a year with national and international guests. Recent events organized by Sahmeran are the concerts by Turkish rock/pop artists maNga (April 2010) and Emre Aydin (June 2010).
TMC010 (Turkish Music Club Rotterdam) is a music club where fun and educational activities are the central point of focus. They organize guest performances by professional artists from Turkey, but also musical nights where members of TMC010 show their own performances. TMC010 supports Turkish amateur bands to create a positive development of podiumarts for these Turks. TMC010 does not only organize her own activities, but also works together with Stichting Sahne (see theatre chapter), poppodium Exit and Baroeg.
Among the events that were organized by TMC010 were the rock concerts in Tilburg and Rotterdam by the female rock band Kirmizi from Istanbul. In Rotterdam this concert was held at podiumcafe Exit.
Another initiative by TMC010 is the website Turkrock.nl. This site is the only official Turk rock forum of the Netherlands.