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Participatory and art projects


Participatory projects mainly aim at the participation of young people in socio-cultural life. These projects differ from the first category because they are applied by NGOs and/or corporate structures.

-          Short Wave Youth Center / Kısa Dalga Gençlik Merkezi was founded under İstanbul Bilgi University’s Youth Studies Unit in 2007 with the aim of implementing innovative youth projects with young people living in the nearby neighborhood of Eyüp and to provide mutual learning opportunities to the youth with other stakeholders working in youth centers accross Turkey. Young people between the ages of 15-20 were invited to join workshops, activities, and performances. See http://www.kisadalga.org/english.html.

-          GePGeNç youth festival was held in 2008 April under the theme 'Neighborhood' at Santralistanbul of bilgi University. The Festival hosted over 200 youth organizations from 20 different countries with participants from more than 50 organizations and was visited by 10.000 youngsters during the six days of the Festival. More than 150 events took place especially targeted at young people with fewer opportunities in Turkey. The festival is expected to be part of ‘İstanbul enjoys in Streets’ in 2010. See http://gepgenc.blogspot.com/  / http://www.gapgenc.net.

-          Youth Services Center and youth tours (Gençlik Servisleri Merkezi ve Gençtur) is an International voluntary work camp offering intercultural dialogue, information about youth, NGO capacity building and consultancy. See http://www.gsm-youth.org/en  http://www.genctur.com .

-          The European Youth Festival (Avrupa Gençlik Festivali) was held between 1999-2002 in Ankara, by the cooperation of GSM-Youth Services Centre and GENÇEV-Youth Culture House with supports of European Union Turkey Delegation, public and private organizations. The European Youth Festival managed to reach 120.000 young people in four years, creating an international platform where youngsters had a chance to present their abilities in music, dance, theatre and the social area to other youngsters.


-          The European Universities Theatre Festival (Avrupa Üniversite Tiyatroları Şenliği) was coordinated by the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency’s Theatre and Performing Arts Directorate in May 2010. There were performances of a total of 51 university theatre groups; 36 from Turkey, 14 from Europe and 1 from Japan. http://www.utf-ist.org/ENG/Default.aspx.

-          The Hangar Art Association (Hangar Sanat Derneği) is an association that was founded by a group of young people from different backgrounds who support arts and societal development. In the future, the association plans to establish its own culture and arts center for young people. Examples of their projects are: ‘On The Street’ (Sokakta Şenlik 3) which is a street art festival.  On The Street was first organized by Hangar with the participation of international and local young artists. Together they organized many culture and art events like concerts, street theater, dance, acrobatics, short films screenings, and photography exhibitions. www.sokaktasenlik.org

Europe for all? (Avrupa Herkes İçin mi?) was a project to raise youth awareness on European Citizenship and Second Generation Immigrants. The aim of the project was to provide the interaction of different European cultures and dialogue between European citizens by oganizing many cultural events for young people, especially for second generation immigrants. http://www.hangar.org.tr/avrupa-herkes-icin-mi.html

-          The Başak Culture and Art Foundation (Başak Kültür Ve Sanat Vakfı) is a foundation that aims to carry out various activities to discover, support and promote artistic abilities of poor and/or low-paid young people and to eliminate the difficulties they face in building their personal capacity. It is also aimed at orienting young people to be more productive, and encourages them to take part in social life as healthy individuals. The foundation also conducts scientific research in the fields of culture and art. The foundation organized cultural/artistic, educational, vocational courses, psychosocial counseling, panels, cultural and youth exchange programs, workshops and special projects. http://www.basaksanatvakfi.org.tr/english/index.php

-          The Community Volunteers Foundation (Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı = TOG ) is one of the largest non-governmental organizations in Turkey and aims to increase the participation of youth in activities of university student clubs and youth centers. Its vision is to realize social peace, solidarity and change through the participation and leadership of youth. The foundation has many local and national projects as well as international ones. Their projects are managed by the youth themselves. http://www.tog.org.tr/index.asp

An example of their activities is the ‘Living Library’. The projects was first launched in 2000 by the Danish organization Stop the Violence, and is now active in many countries. The project was organized for the first time in 2007 together with Istanbul Bilgi University Youth Studies Unit in Istanbul. The aim of the project was to encourage dialogue in society and to provide an opportunity for one-to-one conversation between people who normally wouldn’t speak with each other. The concept is to imagine that books are real people and the titles of the books represent people subjected to discrimination. For example someone chooses a book about lesbians or written by a lesbian. The person is able to read the book and talk to the author to find out about how lesbians are subject to discrimination.


-          Studio Oyuncuları, a theater company, has organized ‘Young Projects’ (Genç Projeler) events aiming to stage short plays which were written by young directors from 2005-2006 season.

-          Stüdyo Oyuncuları www.studiooyunculari.com

-          Youth Projects http://www.studiooyunculari.com/default.asp?1,7