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New VAHA hubs selected

We are pleased to announce that 10 hubs comprising 23 organisations have been selected for the second round of the VAHA programme to implement their cultural programming ideas between November 2023 and October 2024.
Initially, the hubs will organise their cultural and artistic activities in themes and disciplines that address regional and global crises from their localities. Later, transnational partners from other Council of Europe member countries will be invited to participate in the ongoing cultural programming of Turkey hubs through another open call in Spring 2024.


A Network of Island Cultures

Galimi Çınarlı Association (Balıkesir)

Adalar Vakfı (Istanbul)

Created through the joint initiatives of Galimi Çınarlı Rural Development and Tourism Association, geared towards the promotion of local production and island culture on Marmara Island, and Adalar Vakfı, a foundation for the protection and preservation of the historic, cultural and natural assets of the Princes’ Islands of Istanbul, ADAdayız offers a collaborative space in which island organisations can join forces to share information and explore common issues including identity, social and cultural transformations, and migration. In line with this vision, the hub’s activities focus on island cultures, artistic expressions, and responses to crises through online and face-to-face events and communication. The hub strives to weave an Island Network to draw together researchers and organisations. Coordinated by the Galimi Çınarlı Association, the initiative celebrates the resilience of island life and its unique responses to challenges such as the mucilage crisis and the pandemic, as well as various aspects of sustainability.
*Literally, “we’re here, on the island”.

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Cultural Harmony

NUN Culture and Arts (Gaziantep)

Douzan Art and Culture (Gaziantep)

Cultural Harmony Hub, a partnership between NUN and Douzan, seeks to empower Gaziantep’s refugee community to promote its cultural rights and heritage. Their overarching goal is to foster cultural understanding, community integration, and unity. By transcending cultural barriers through music and film initiatives, they aim to spark conversations about shared human experiences and the importance of preserving traditions. The collaboration’s long-term vision is to achieve heightened levels of impactful synergy in the future.

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Dörtte Dört Kadın Sanat

ŞanoWan Theatre Stage (Van)

Aryen Art Workshop (Van)

Star Women Association (Van)

Dörtte Dört Kadın Sanat is dedicated to addressing gender inequality, women's consciousness, and gender awareness through the lens of cultural and artistic expression. They collaborate on artistic workshops, exhibitions, concerts, and theatre productions with a focus on women’s themes. Their activity programme centres on the number 4, covering four seasons, four art branches, and four tours. Women artists are trained in various art forms and engage in ethical-aesthetic discussions, resulting in exhibitions and tours across four cities. The activities aim to empower women artists and create a platform for discussion and artistic exploration, contributing to a more just and artistic world.

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Nar Sanat (Gaziantep)

Dersim Yenigün Women Solidarity Association (Dersim)

HABBE, comprising Nar Science, Culture and Art Association and Dersim Yenigün Women Solidarity Association, is a collaborative partnership committed to promoting women’s rights and cultural engagement. Through this alliance, they aim to empower their members, enhance knowledge sharing, and amplify their collective voice in society. Their joint activity programme focuses on organising short film screenings that shed light on women’s challenges and societal issues. Interviews with film directors and viewers will document the process. These discussions will take place in two different cities, fostering dialogue and cultural exchange. The hub seeks to make women directors’ struggles visible and encourage public debate, ultimately generating ideas and strategies for addressing these challenges among the audience.

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Urban.koop (Istanbul)

Ankara Aks (Ankara)

Hubban, a collaborative initiative between two urban-focused organisations, aims to explore the dynamics of ever-changing refugee communities in major cities in Turkey. With a particular focus on how these communities shape and reshape urban environments, the hub seeks to map connections, intersections, and encounters between different generations of refugees. Their approach spans various cultural aspects, from culinary practices to performance art, with the goal of contributing to the integration of newly emerged communities into urban life. By emphasising the importance of recognizing these communities as integral parts of the city, Hubban aims to foster cultural exchanges and partnerships, creating bridges between diverse cultures that have migrated to the same urban setting. In doing so, they aspire to contribute to mutual development, social cohesion, and the establishment of cultural encounters on a systemic level.

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Mordem Sanat (Diyarbakır)

Şaneşîn Performance (Mardin)

Nîsk Huner (Batman) 

Mordem Sanat, Şaneşîn Performance, and Nîsk Huner have come together as a unified hub with a common mission: the preservation of Kurdish culture, language, and traditional forms. Their collaborative programme focuses on researching, documenting, and revitalising traditional Kurdish festivals, such as Bûka Baranê, Newroz, and others, creating an archive and a photo-video documentary. The diverse target audience includes disadvantaged groups, youth, women, artists, and culture enthusiasts. This initiative not only safeguards cultural heritage but also promotes community engagement and open dialogue, making it a vital resource for cultural preservation and public involvement.

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Dîwan Academy (Batman)

Batman Yenisahne (Batman)

PlayRoots, a partnership between Dîwan Academy and Batman Yenisahne, focuses on the research and preservation of Kurdish spectacles and rituals through theatre. Their common goals, past collaborations, geographical proximity and commitment to regional traditions form the basis of their co-operation. They aim to explore traditional Kurdish plays, host performances and document these cultural experiences to promote cultural appreciation and social cohesion.

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Çıplak Ayaklar Kumpanyası (Istanbul)

Kayınormanı Association (Bursa)

SARP (Samanlı ART and PROTECTION), composed of Kayınormanı Association and Çıplak Ayaklar Kumpanyası (ÇAK), endeavours to deepen their understanding of their rural environment. By collaborating with experts, they collect data on local flora, forest science, medicinal plants, and mushroom diversity. This knowledge is shared with the community, fostering a connection between art and nature. SARP’s activities aim to encourage dialogue on environmental conservation, sustainability, and the fusion of art and nature, inspiring positive change and a commitment to the natural world.

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Sıfır Noktasında Sanat

Antakya Performative Collective (Antakya)

Janus Artzine (Antakya)

Antakya Performative Collective and Janus Artzine joined forces in response to the earthquake that devastated Antakya. Motivated to aid in the city’s reconstruction, they formed a hub focused on the healing power of art. Their public programme aims to create a mobile art space in the form of a caravan for workshops, exhibitions, and creative gatherings accessible to everyone. The caravan serves as a platform for public discussion and dialogue while raising awareness through participatory art products. It seeks to engage the community in dialogue and learning experiences, facilitated by artists and organisers.

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Tora Çand û Hûnera Kurdî*

Mesopotamia Foundation (Diyarbakır)

Middle East Cinema Academy Association (Diyarbakır)

Amed City Theatre (Diyarbakır)

Tora Çand û Hûnera Kurdî has a twofold mission. First, they aim to counteract the threats and censorship faced by Kurdish cultural institutions, seeking to create a united front and amplify their demands through collaboration. With the support of VAHA, they aim to expand their influence across Turkey and Europe. Second, they plan to standardise Kurdish culture and arts terminology, opening new avenues for cultural production and creative activities. The hub will focus on a terminology study in five languages, Kurdish Cinema Days, and Kurdish Theatre Days. These endeavours will spark discussions on linguistic diversity, cultural preservation, and artistic expression, enriching public discourse and understanding. Ultimately, they will invigorate the cultural landscape of the region.

*Kurdish Culture and Arts Network

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The open call for Turkey received 62 applications from a total of 150 different organisations from 26 cities in Turkey. The applications were evaluated by the programme’s implementing and supporting partner organisations, including Anadolu Kültür, zusa, European Cultural Foundation and Stiftung Mercator.

The evaluation of the applications was based on the following criteria:

  • Opening new space for dialogue
  • Hub synergy
  • Feasibility
  • Relevance with the VAHA II Open Call
  • Transnational collaboration potential

Visuals by Julia, www.mosaics-circles.de