The “North Aegean Narratives” project has been designed by Istanbul Digital Culture and Art Foundation. Istanbul Digital leads and manages the project implementation together with its main project partner KEDE – Center for Research and Action on Peace of Athens Greece, and its associate partners.
The ultimate aim of the project was to use art as a way to foster a healthy and open dialogue between Turkish and Greek societies and to offer new artistic expressions seeking to enhance mutual cultural understanding and to overcome misconceptions and prejudices. In the action, 8 Turkish and 8 Greek media artists have collaborated in teams of 4 and each mixed team produced four short films dealing with the main theme “Rethinking Closeness and Apartness– Reconnecting with the Other Side” reflecting on different narratives such as culture, gender, environment, religion or tradition.
The participating artists attended a creative documentary development workshop, where they came together with the senior and local instructors and lecturers from various disciplines, and discussed the technical and conceptual issues relevant to the content of the project. In this workshop, the attention of the artists was drawn especially to the concerns of the North Aegean and they were encouraged to produce about their region and their common problems. In this context, Turkish and Greek academics specialized in different topics such as identity, multiculturalism, minorities, environment, Aegean region, gender, public art and cinema gave lectures on these topics during the workshop.
After the workshop, field work and shooting have proceeded and there have been mutual visits between Mytilene and Çanakkale by Greek and Turkish artists. Traveling to another geography which is very close but at the same time very far at a mental level, and working there as a member of a multi-cultural team brought about new points of view to the participants. The completed 16 short films will be screened in Adatepe, Mytilene, Ayvalık, Çanakkale, Athens, Izmir, Istanbul and Eskişehir. The project shall be closed with a conference that will be held in Istanbul. With this conference, the project results as well as lessons learned from the experience will be shared with a wider audience.