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Dutch photographers in Turkey


In 2007 Ahmet Polat had an individual exhibition at the Istanbul Modern museum. The title of the exhibition was ‘Kimsin Sen?’, ‘Who are You?’.


In 2007 the ‘Meeting Point’ project was set up, aiming to create an international gathering around art and creativity, taking place in a rural setting with participants from different cultural backgrounds. It is a mobile project aiming to collaborate with local initiatives and to take place in a different village each year. During this edition, held at the village of Gülpınar, Ahmet Polat gave a workshop photography.



In 2007 there was an exhibition at the Uludag University Photo Department Istanbul with works from the Dutch photographer Bertien van Manen.


In 2007, Jull Hondius and Laurence Bovin had an exhibition called 'The Photographers' at the Platform Garanti contemporary Art Center in Istanbul.



In 2008, because of the photomanifest ‘Breda Photo’, the photo exhibition Neither here… nor there by Ahmet Polat was exhibited at the NBKS. These photo’s are the ones he took in Turkey.



In 2008, for a project initiated by the Turkish jeans brand Mavi Jeans, Ahmet Polat went to 12 different cities and interviewed and took photos of many youth in those cities. The photo’s were brought together in an exhibition called Gençlik Halleri, ‘de toestand van jeugd’. This exhibition was shown in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.


In 2008, head teacher Henk Zijm and the Turkish ambassador in Holland Selahattin Alpar opened a photo exhibition in Bastille, the student building of the campus of Universiteit Twente. The exhibition shows photos of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and is an intitiative of the Turkish student association of the University, Tusat. With the exhibition the students want to show Dutch students how Atatürk was the founder of modern Turkey.


In 2008 Sabri Varan had an exhibition at the Turks-Nederlands museum Hoorn. The title was ‘Human and Nature’, wherein he showed photos taken in Turkey.



In 2009, Diana Blok took photo’s of Turkish homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. The name she gave to this series of photos was ‘See Through Us’. She has had several photo exhibitions based on this collection. In 2009 the series was exhibited in de Melkweg Amsterdam, in 2010 in Museum Jannink in Enschede, as part of the opening of ‘Enschede opent Roze’.




In 2009, the Kunstpraktijk in Veldhoven hosted the exhibition TURKS. There were black and white photographs by Bas de Meijer and colorful ones by Giti Entezami. It is not very clear why this was called Turks, since there are hardly any references to Turkish happenings.



In 2009, Sylvy van Bochove participated in the Worldwide-Artists for Peace International Art Action Project. The project was held at several locations: Dolmabahçe Sanat Gallery, Istanbul Fotoğrafevi and Istanbul Fotoğraf Merkezi.




In 2009, Maurice Arts had an exhibition at the Artmosfer Galerie Cafe in Istanbul. The name of this exhibition was 'Turkestan - The land of the Turkic people' www.artmosfercafe.com


In 2010, the event Amsterdam Istanbul Inspirations was held. This event is a composition of arts from Holland which are inspired by Istanbul. For this event, former head consul of the Turkish consulate in Holland made a selection of more than 100 photos from his collection of photomaterial from Turkish artists in Holland. The exhibition is held at Galerie Mali Musavirler Odasi. The same exhibition was also held in the Afrikaanderpark in Rotterdam later in 2010.




In 2010 the Historisch Museum in ‘t Gemaal in Rotterdam exhibited photo’s by Robert de Hartogh. He is only of very few photographers who recorded the life of Turkish immigrants, and the collection will show photos from the period 1975-1985.



In 2010 Ahmet Polat had an exhibition at the K2 Gallery in Izmir. The title of his exhibition was ‘Traces’.



The exhibition by Ahmet Polat in Izmir 2010 had a follow-up. Polat was invited to present his archival and photgraphic research during a seminar organised by UNESCO and IRCICA. It was held at the Yildiz Palace in Istanbul.




In 2010 Ahmet Polat had photo exhibition at FOAM, Amsterdam. The name of the exhibition was Young Turks 2010.



In 2010 the Dutch photographer Danielle Kwaaitaal exhibited her series ‘Whispering Waters’ at Casa Dell’Arte Istanbul. This is a series of underwater photos made in collaboration with fashion designer Mada van Gaans.




In 2010 the Dutch photograph agency Noor had an exhibition in Istanbul called ‘Consequences’. This exhibition was part of the Intercultural Art Dialogues Days of the Municipality of Beyoglu. It was held on Galatasaray Square.



In 2010, Arjen Zwart had a photo exhibition as part of the Istanbul Cultural Capital Program. The exhibition was held at Fototrek in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.



In 2010, the Kunsthal Rotterdam had a photo exhibition by Nicole Segers. Her series was called “Ontmoetingen langs de bosporus”, and are based on photos she took on a boat from the European to the Asian side of Istanbul. With her photos she shows the peace and quiet on the boat compared to the hectics and liveliness of the city.



Kosmopolis Rotterdam

For the Turkey Now! Festival 2010, an exhibition was held in Rotterdam with the title .nl.de.tr/turkishconnections. For this exhibition photographer Otto Snoek made a set of portraits wherein “transgression”, especially the idea that more and more people live in one country but travel a lot to other countries, was the central focus. For the series, Snoek followed thirteen businessmen, students, managers and artists in Rotterdam, Duisburg and Istanbul. They all shared a Turkish background, a migration-history and a worldwide network. The stories of the portrayed people (besides photographed also written by journalist Steven Adolf) reflect city life, cross borders and are part of contemporary reality. They consider their Turkish connection as an added value to doing business, making theatre and music, in directing and in having fun.

Later in 2010 the exhibition was also held in Beyoglu, Istanbul.



In 2010 students from the Stoas Hogeschool developed lesson material which can be used by ‘green’ educational institutions for the photo exhibition ‘Kies Kleur in Groen’. The photos of this exhibition were taken during a studytrip in Turkey and create a view of the country, the culture and the ‘green’ education.



In 2010 there was a festial held in Ankara, named Benimde Kalbim Var. It was organized by the Dutch artist Jerome Symons, and consisting of 3 parts:

-                Temporary works of art (in Kızılay, Cankaya), which will mainly be about photography. The central theme of the photography exhibiton will be ‘human relations in the public space’.

-                An exhibition of proposals and concepts for art projects by students from the Ankara Universities of Bilkent, Baskent, Hacettepe and Gazi.

-                A conference: how can art and culture add to the development of Ankara?


Arjen Zwart is a Dutch photographer who lives in Istanbul. From 2001until now he has been commited to some long term projects. Dokus/Sekizlik 9/8"- A Roma family in Istanbul

Is a photo documentry about the lifes of a roma family living and working in Istanbul.

In the beginning Arjen was interested how the Roma in an urban environment sustain their lifestyle and identity. To find answers he started this project in autum 2001. Central in this photoseries is the family Vurgun. By following their lives through a time span of 10-15 years Arjen wishes to capture the changes in their lives. An introduction exhibition of this project was held at the Karsi Sanat Gallery in 2006 . This exhibition was organized in cooperation with the Turkish non govermental organisation UYD. The catalogue coming with the exhibition was financial supported by the Mondriaan Stichting and the Roland Holstfonds. This exhibition has also been exhibited in the Netherlands.Rasa Utrecht, Kunsteyssen Alkmaar, Kunst Centrum Bergen (NH)


Another project is The Unnoticed City/Melancholia –Istanbul is a photo series of wastelands, litter places and empty corners of Istanbul. Searching for traces of human actions in this historical city

 Beyoğlu now, in relation with the past. An exhibition at the Istanbul Modern Museum is planned in the beginning of 2012. The exhibition and catalogue will be financed by the museum.

Curator Istanbul Modern Museum ; Engin Özendes


Arjen Zwart : Güneşli Sokak 15/3 Cihangir/Beyoğlu, 34433 – Istanbul, +90 212 293 1903 / Mobiele +90 541 201 6671, arjenzwart57@gmail.com, www.arjenzwart.nl, www.arjenzwart.com