My City

by
June 23, 2011
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Across Turkey the inspiring, disruptive and sometimes controversial works commissioned by the project have stimulated public debate in five specific cities, affecting the way millions of citizens think about their future.

My City is not about scoring points but about engagement at many different levels,” remarked an internationally active Turkish artist who contributed to a recent focus group discussion which we arranged as part of the evaluation of this project. Significantly, the artist in question, photographer Ahmet Polat, was not involved in the project himself but had observed it and the repercussions it has had.

My City’s core theme is art in public space, a subject which brings questions of identity and culture down to the ground, quite literally, in a real setting.

Across Turkey the inspiring, disruptive and sometimes controversial works commissioned by the project have stimulated public debate in five specific cities, affecting the way millions of citizens think about their future.

My City will reach millions more in the autumn when a six-part documentary about the project is shown on the TRT Turkish television network (including the international satellite channel which has a large audience across Europe and central Asia). The British Counci’s partnership with TRT was celebrated recently during a live broadcast in Istanbul, just before a trailer with edited highlights of the documentary went out to mid-evening viewers. We brought leading figures from the arts, media and business world to comment for the cameras about the scale and ambition of this project which has involved prominent artists from five European countries working in Turkey and residencies by artists from Turkey at leading cultural centres across Europe.

The My City book – reflecting the range and quality of the debate which this project has provoked – is available in English and Turkish, accompanied by a DVD.

David Codling
Director Arts, Turkey