Workshop « Place Making Practices, Privatization and Gentrification »


Because of the meetings, our group moves a lot, place to place, up and down, crossing the city in 3 different quarters, close to Istanbul people in their environment, their working spaces (not « hors sol »). It is highly related to Seçil Yaylali who guides us in the heart of the city because she is « in » and « out », with a 360° rich vision that she offers us. We met artist and cultural actors in their vital -“hayati”- space and we investigate connexions between them : they welcome us with a strong attention,  and generosity. We exchange ideas about their neighborhood.

Ancien lieu de villégiature des Stambouliotes, la colline tranquille de Yeldegirmeni dans Kadikoy plonge vers la mer et la bouillonnante gare routière (bus, domus, tramways), métropolitaine, et maritime du Bosphore, pêcheurs, jeunes, cafés, restaurants et ateliers d’artistes, ambiance piétonnière, Tak, rendez-vous au Taureau, la fête à Moda…une zone urbaine très touchée par la gentrification.



restitution-groupe-space-making-practices-4 En descendant à l’embarcadère de Karakoy, l’ambiance est italienne sous la tour genoise. Dans le quartier de Tophane à Beyoglu, le quartier se côtoient des lieux officiels et indépendants, puis la montée ponctuée de lieux plus alternatifs, crossing Istiklal, direction Pasaj au cœur d’un Tarlabasi multiculturel, pauvre et délabré avec des zones sinistrées, lieu d’accueil de réfugiés syriens, de Roms, de Kurdes et de marginaux, en constant brassage, contrastant avec une gentrification forcée en cours impulsée par la municipalité.



Quartier qui traverse l’histoire bordant la Corne d’Or, mur d’enceinte de la ville, ancien quartier juif, patriarcat de l’église orthodoxe (Jérusalem), quartier en partie classé Patrimoine de l’Unesco qui limite la gentrification, contrasté – populaire, parfois très dégradé, avec quelques îlots cossus, ambiance Village, façades colorées, nombreuses rues commerçantes (Antiquités, enchères, cafés…).





dsc_0313Middle size / old shop transformed in studio
>> Installation of artists open the interest of the public for the quarter, makes it attractive.
For example : Painter Yahya Bagci and mosaic artist Malik and sculptor Meryem Tomak in Balat, and painter Ali Elmaci and Damla Ozdemir (collages), Illustrator Oyku Dogan in Yeldegirmeni. Video artist Hasan Ozgur Top in Tarlabasi
It leads to gentrification through “cafés” that replace the shops and at the end the artists > price increase
Artist have no choice than changing of quarter > loan of one year only, taxes paid by the owner for the loan to an artist.The city promote this gentrification.

Consequences : artists retreat in their own place as a home-studio. Or change of quarter for a cheaper area. The help of their family is present in this economy that leads to limit the diffusion for economic and politic reasons.




  • Studio, Gallery / TOZ

Old shop. Creation studio cut in two parts to allow exhibitions in the entrance.
A couple of photographer including Volkan Kiziltunc and 2 visual artist associated in Yeldegirmeni, They do 3 or 4 exhibitions in a year.
Economic strategy : own a grant for a year, invites other artists to exhibit.



  • Café culture , artists Residency / Arthere Istanbul

Omer, the syrian photographer initiated space, where artists can work and expose their work in Yeldegirmeni.
Home for turkish and foreign artists (Syrians). Helping creative activities, help to maintain activities in Turkey in order to be insert socialy and administrativly, to learn codes and be able to choose between living here or leaving for another country (Europe) .

  • Studio dance, Small venue, Circus / Çıplak Ayaklar CAK (Pieds nus)

Danse studio that works with workshops and lessons organised around the art of two dancers, Duygu Gungor and Mihran Tomasyan >> collective and alternative economy >> include artist circus and musicians like Gevende.
The danse studio changes into a small venue during a period of 6 months from January to June, each year. International tours.


  • Theater company / Galata Perform

Place for new writers, directors (Ahmet Sami Ozbudak)
Company support by the state and the municipality and private organisations until 2013 (Gezi riot).
The company owns his venue. International worshops and festivals.
Project “Balat Monologlar Müzesi”: stories starts from interviews of the neighborhood to give small pieces played at the same time in an dilapidated house rent for the occasion.


  • Artists Collective – Residency / Studio / Actions in Public space – Quarters / Gallery / Pasaj

Independant art place (Secil Yaylali & Giorgio Caione, artists , Zeynep Okyay & Elif Bursali , cultural managers )
Place where artists can mutualise the space to create their own art (video, sculpture,…) with a strong link with the neighborhood.
Technological tools, traditional hand tools, curatorial management, workshops with kids


  • The Pill

In an ancient generators fabric, founded in January 2016 in Balat. It doesn’t have the same struggle like the independants.


  • DEPO

Old tobacco factory that as been changed into an exhibition center by a private foundation in 2008 .  (exhibition presented : Ali Cabbar, Berat Isik,…)
Cultural and research center which is cna be also a hybrid place.

  • Jesse Gagliardi – NON SPACE?

The artist is inspired by old photos and the specific place : he rents a house in front of his studio where he built an exhibition based on old photographies found in the street.
In his scenography he replaces the photography in the frame by an object.
The space (house) is totally part of the exhibition.
All his exhibitions are called “Unoccupied” (last one was in a Turkish bath with 7 other artists).


  • Sanatatak, web site on Art and Culture, individual initiative.

Online media about artistic events, Art critics, publishing house, creation calls.

In conclusion, our experiences were more concentrated on modes of existence of independent art scene in Istanbul.


Bonus sonore :


Anne, Camille (dessins), Jean-Marie, Philippe et Sophie



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