Beykoz Kundura’s interdisciplinary art and theory workshop welcomes four artists from the Netherlands to collaborate with artists from Turkey this summer.

One of the significant cultural and artistic institutions of Istanbul, Beykoz Kundura, has started an art and theory programme called KunduraLab this year. KunduraLab continues its explorations of performance with PerformLab, “an international, interdisciplinary programme for concept and practice development in performance”.

PerformLab is open to all artists in Turkey who are interested in producing performative works and have experience on the subject matter. Applications fo PerformLab’s first workshop have begun and will continue to be accepted until March 1, 2021. Results will be announced on March 22, 2021.

Beykoz Kundura's PerformLab is inviting artists from Turkey to apply to its one-week summer workshop, free of charge. Beykoz Kundura’s PerformLab is inviting artists from Turkey to apply to its one-week summer workshop, free of charge. (Courtesy of Beykoz Kundura)

PerformLab wants to provide new means of creation and perspectives to ten artists from Turkey who wish to add performance to their practices in various disciplines. These artists will be invited as participants to the workshop, to be held between May 29-June 6, 2021.

The workshop will also contribute to the continuation of performance arts in Turkey during the coronavirus pandemic, which has adversely affected the discipline just as it has all other culture industries.

The workshop is open to artists from Turkey over the age of 25, whether they be individuals, groups or collectives. It is established in hopes of contributing to a continuous cultural exchange between Turkey and the Netherlands.

Beykoz Kundura also has plans to become a centre for culture, arts, philosophy, performance and film production. The premises are divinely located by the Bosporus, and offer visitors multidisciplinary events such as theatre, dance, film screenings and more.

This workshop will be held in partnership with Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam and with the support of Dutch Performing Arts and plans to help develop an artistic dialogue between the Netherlands and Turkey.

Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam stands for “groundbreaking, often interdisciplinary theater that aims to celebrate difference, diversity and multiformity” while Dutch Performing Arts is “a programme by Performing Arts Fund NL to promote Dutch music, theatre and dance abroad.”

The guest artists for Beykoz Kundura’s interdisciplinary concept and practice development programme PerformLab are Belgian dancer and performance artist Benjamin Kahn, Surinamese-Dutch artist Cherish Menzo, Dutch actor and performance artist Khadija El Kharraz Alami and Australian theatre producer, director and educator Samara Hersch. They will be in Istanbul as guests of Beykoz Kundura and will share their experiences with artists from Turkey chosen for the workshop.

Benjamin Kahn Benjamin Kahn “considers dance and choreography as powerful political tools and is particularly interested in the construction and deconstruction of the way we look at individual and collective bodies.” (Courtesy of Beykoz Kundura)

According to his biography on the webpage of Lafayette Anticipations, Benjamin Kahn “is a dancer and choreographer who studied dramaturgy and theatre at the University of Aix en Provence, at the Conservatory of Rennes, and graduated from the ESAC (Ecole Superieure des Arts du Cirque) in Belgium.”

Cherish Menzo in JEZEBEL, which won an Amsterdam Fringe Award and an International Bursary Award. Cherish Menzo in JEZEBEL, which won an Amsterdam Fringe Award and an International Bursary Award. (Courtesy of Beykoz Kundura)

Cherish Menzo, on the other hand, “a dancer and performer [who] graduated from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam”, has been, since 2018, “performing the solo Sorry But I Feel Slightly Disidentified… by Benjamin Kahn, a portrait that aims to deconstruct stereotypes.”

In her work, Khadija El Kharraz Alami In her work, Khadija El Kharraz Alami “portrays the human in search of identity and its victorious failure.” (Benny Stroet / Courtesy of Beykoz Kundura)

Khadija El Kharraz Alami, with “a bachelor’s degree in acting, [is a] performance artist, theatre maker, actress, [and a] writer [who] draws inspiration from life events, relationships and people from her personal life. In her work she portrays the human in search of identity and its victorious failure.”

Samara Hersch has an interest in inter-generational discourse and non-hierarchical forms of knowledge sharing Samara Hersch has an interest in inter-generational discourse and non-hierarchical forms of knowledge sharing (Courtesy of samarahersch.com)

Samara Hersch is “a theatre maker, director and teaching artist whose practice explores the intersection of contemporary performance and community engagement. She recently completed her Master’s [degree] at Das Theatre in Amsterdam. She has an interest in inter-generational discourse and non-hierarchical forms of knowledge sharing.”

These guest artists representing the Netherlands will get together with ten selected artists from Turkey for a workshop to be held at Beykoz Kundura, a converted historical building that goes back two hundred years and once served as a shoe factory. 

Source: TRT World