intercultural dialogue

Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) was founded in 1973 with the goal of offering the Turkish public opportunities to experience the finest examples of cultural and artistic production from around the world and to learn about new initiatives and movements. It also works on introducing the world to Turkey’s cultural and artistic assets and transforming Istanbul into a major international centre for culture and the arts. The Foundation is involved in organising festivals,  conserving traditional arts and cultural heritage, encouraging and facilitating artistic production in diverse disciplines, and contributing to the development of cultural policies.

The general objectives of the Foundation are:

  • to make Istanbul one of the world’s foremost capitals of culture and the arts;
  • to create continuous interaction between national and universal values and traditional and contemporary values via culture and the arts;
  • and to contribute actively to the development of cultural policies.

Within the field of cultural policy research, İKSV organises workshops, conferences, and symposia and prepares publications that accompany these activities with the aim of enriching the exchange of ideas about arts and culture, increasing the participation of artists and art enthusiasts in this dialogue, and contributing to the development of cultural policies. İKSV also conducts studies that will guide the development of cultural policies, in cooperation with a variety of institutions. İKSV collaborates with several organisations and networks that form the EU’s cultural policies and is also the head of the Turkish network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation.

İKSV has been committed to bringing together different cultures and contributing to the creation of a platform for multicultural dialogue. In this respect it organises a series of international festivals in major European cities, beginning in 2004 with “Şimdi Now” in Berlin and continuing with “Şimdi Stuttgart” in 2005, “Turkey Now” in Amsterdam and Rotterdam in 2007 and 2008, Russia in 2008, and Vienna, Austria in 2009. The “Cultural Season of Turkey in France” activities held between 1 July 2009 and 31 March 2010 were also organised by İKSV, in collaboration with Culturesfrance. İKSV has been organising the Pavilion of Turkey at the Venice Biennale since 2007.

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Anadolu Kültür

Anadolu Kültür was founded as a not-for-profit cultural institution in 2002 when individuals from various fields of the art world, the business world and civil society came together to support the production and sharing of culture and art in cities across Turkey and abroad. Anadolu Kültür continues its activities with the belief that cultural and artistic exchange will help develop mutual understanding and dialogue and overcome regional differences and prejudices, and that a broader cultural life will elicit a discussion of concepts such as citizenship, identity and belonging. It aims to build bridges between different ethnic, religious and regional groups by sharing culture and art, supporting regional initiatives, emphasizing cultural diversity and cultural rights and consolidating interregional collaboration.

In line with its vision and mission, Anadolu Kültür carries out work in the following areas:

  • Arts and Cultural Dialogue in Anatolia: Within the scope of this area of work, it organizes events such as exhibitions, film screenings, performances, concerts, public talks and art workshops; and also long-term culture and art projects with intercultural, inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaborations. It helps events in the fields of film, contemporary art, performance arts, music and literature produced in Istanbul to travel to Anatolian cities; and culture and art products of Anatolian cities to travel to other cities across Anatolia. In line with demands from the cities, and with priority given to participation and local collaboration, it develops projects with the aim of contributing to the revival of cultural life. In order to facilitate and support communication between artists, cultural and educational institutions, civil society institutions and local actors, it carries out cultural exchange programs that enable the meeting and convergence of different cities. Within the scope of this objective, Anadolu Kültür supports collaborative film and photography activities with young people, writing and drawing workshops with children, local civil society organizations, and collaborative projects aimed at women and young people, with the aim of bringing people from different parts of Turkey together.
  • Cultural Diversity and Human Rights: In this area of work, Anadolu Kültür aims to support artistic production that departs from the cultural diversity and wealth of diverse groups that have lived for thousands of years on Anatolian soil in order to keep their cultural heritage alive and increase its visibility. Photography exhibitions that emphasize the multicultural structure of cities, performances and activities that reflect Armenian cultural heritage, screenings and debates supporting Kurdish cinema and bilingual children’s books are some of its projects in this field. Cultural diversity and cultural rights form the focus of this field of work; nevertheless, as part of this program, Anadolu Kültür also carries out work that treats and publicizes the issue of human rights as a whole.
  • Cultural Collaboration with Europe: In this area of work, it aims to develop and expand collaboration between artists, cultural activists and civil society institutions in Turkey and Europe. In accordance with this objective, Anadolu Kültür carries out projects that support collaboration between cities in Europe and Turkey in a diverse spectrum of fields including performance, art workshops with children, literature research, contemporary art exhibitions and projects on cultural heritage. These projects also include collaboratively produced magazines, theatre plays, photography workshops and many others.
  • Arts and Cultural Dialogue with Armenia: The cultural and artistic collaboration inaugurated in 2005 with civil society institutions, academic institutions and independent artists from Armenia has continued ever since. Within the framework of collaborative work aiming to consolidate neighbourhood relations between the two countries and develop reciprocal understanding and sharing, different communities living in the same geographical sphere come into contact and build bridges. People from different social segments and various professional and age groups from Turkey and Armenia find the opportunity to meet each other and see and experience each other’s daily life. Anadolu Kültür aims to contribute to the development of inter-communal dialogue with concerts, exhibitions, film and literature events and art workshops organized in both countries. Steps towards the rapprochement of the two societies are taken with these projects that include the social life, common history, culture and art in Turkey and Armenia.

In addition to the projects it has carried out in various cities, Anadolu Kültür has also supported the foundation of three culture and art centers. Diyarbakır Arts Center (DSM), founded simultaneously with Anadolu Kültür in 2002, and DEPO, founded in Istanbul in 2009, continue their activities today. The Kars Arts Center, founded in 2005 in collaboration with the Municipality of Kars, was closed in the aftermath of the March 2009 elections following a decision by the Municipality of Kars. DSM aims to support the production and sharing of art outside large cities and to develop culture and art projects with regional artists, while DEPO is a cultural center and platform for debate that aims to support collaboration between artists, artists’ collectives, civil society institutions and cultural institutions from Turkey, the Southern Caucasus, the Middle East and Balkan countries.

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Anthony Attard

Anthony Attard is a cultural policy consultant, creative economy advisor, arts manager, actor and theatre director. Since 2010 he has been working as Creative Economy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Investment in Malta to develop a national strategy for cultural and creative industries.

He is one of the authors of Malta’s cultural policy and independent cultural expert for the Compendium of Cultural Polices and Trends in Europe . Anthony is also a theatre performer, stage director and drama tutor.

In 2009 he was selected by the British Council to participate in the Cultural Leadership International programme, a yearlong programme on cultural leadership with 35 future cultural leaders from around the globe.

Before joining the Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Investment, he worked as Arts Manager and EU projects executive at the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity ( from 2006 until 2009, where he was responsible for international projects. Moreover, in 2008 he was appointed National Coordinator for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Anthony graduated in 2004 with honors in Communications and Theatre Studies at the University of Malta. As a Chevening Scholar he completed his postgraduate degree in Cultural Management and Policy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh with practice-based research on cultural identity and cooperation.

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Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio holds a PhD in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the University of Barcelona (2009/2012). He is a PhD fellow at the research group “Art, Architecture and Digital Society,” also at the University of Barcelona, and a PhD associated researcher at the international platform “Global Visual Cultures.”

His current focus of research involves the subjects of intercultural processes, globalization and mobility in contemporary art, the interactions between artistic, educational, media and cultural practices in the Mediterranean, the impact of new technologies on art, communication and contemporary society. He also researches cultural mobility, art residencies and intercultural exchanges between Asia, the Arab world and Europe.

Herman has participated in several international conferences and developed projects and research residencies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Furthermore, he has collaborated with the Pistoletto Foundation, MEDIATECA of the Caixaforum Barcelona, OVNI Archives, ISEA2011 Istanbul, IEMed: European Institute of the Mediterranean, Arts Santa Mònica, Roberto Cimetta Fund, Istikshaf, Platform for Intercultural Europe, MACBA: Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, On the Move, Delfina Foundation, Culture360, Asia-Europe Foundation, JISER: Reflexions Mediterrànies, Culturelink, Encatc, and with many researchers, departments and universities worldwide.

He is an Expert of the Roberto Cimetta Fund’s Selection Committee and was Junior Editor (2011-2013) of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac.

As an art critic and independent curator, he writes articles for several international magazines and is co-founder of the Platform for Contemporary Art and Thought, InterArtive. He is editorial contributor to Culture360, Asia-Europe Foundation; author and member of the DIGICULT / DIGIMAG Network on Art and Digital Culture; and member of the “Young Researchers Forum on Cultural Policy” organized by LabforCulture.

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ENCC – European Network for Cultural Centres

The European Network for Cultural Centres (ENCC) is an Europe-wide network bringing together cultural centers from 12 European member countries (national associations) and another 7 countries represented in the network by associated members. Furthermore, the ENCC is in close contact with related initiatives and organizations on a European level. Members of ENCC are those national associations and confederations which represent the cultural centres of their country. The ENCC intends to represent the cultural centres of Europe and aims at stimulating the socio-cultural and artistic life in Europe, especially via cultural centres and their functioning. Since its foundation, the ENCC has made many contacts all over Europe in order to find out which and how many cultural centres are operative.

In view of the social consequences of globalisation, economic problems and in the context of migration large parts of the population in today’s European societies have no sufficient access to culture and education. The role of cultural centres is presenting and facilitating artistic work with the aim of creating access to culture and contributing to cultural diversity, as it was proclaimed by UNESCO in its Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The exchange of ideas, the possibility to compare your own work with the one of other cultural operators in other parts of Europe is a fundamental task of the ENCC.

It therefore organizes Shortcut Europe conferences, platforms for debate on different aspects of the work of the cultural centres. They are organised by the local national network of cultural centres together with the ENCC each year in different places in Europe. Concrete information about the daily work in cultural centres is offered at the ENCC European Project Fair, also organized every year at alternating locations in Europe. On these occasions members and interested guests are invited to present former, current or planned projects and look for partners from all over Europe. Furthermore, the ENCC offers the staff exchange programme Bridge between European Cultural Centres (BECC). It provides the possibility for people working in cultural centres to take part in the daily life of a cultural centre in another country.

The general objectives of the ENCC are: “Debate, Lobbying and Service” on a European level, while its specific objectives are to:

  • implement a professional network service for cultural centres on a European level
  • promote intercultural communication and partnerships, especially in building local partnerships between cultural centres in European countries
  • promote dialogue between cultural centres with European and global perspectives
  • foster an international exchange of experiences, professionals and young activists
  • articulate the interests and strengthen the voice of cultural centres on a European level
  • provide funding opportunities for cultural centres and their networks
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I3C – International Council for Cultural Centers

The International Council for Cultural Centers (I3C) is a global network of national networks/associations of community cultural centers (3C’s) currently connecting more than 50 countries on 6 continents. I3C is currently the only international non-governmental organization representing community cultural centers and their rights, responsibilities and needs for favorable conditions for voluntary/non-paid artists and community animators around the world. I3C cooperates with a group of scholars, professors, students, and independent researchers, forming the I3C Research Advisory Group (RAG). Their task is to provide advice on how to develop individual, culturally-specific local implementation of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and more broadly on the ways local history, celebrations, and knowledge – both traditional and modern – can be an engine for social cohesion, cooperation, and sustainable community, regional and/or national development.

I3C’s overall mission is to be a community-based, physically built, multifunctional space, which is dedicated to overall community development through the medium of creative activities linked to modern and folk arts, the preservation of local intangible cultural heritage, as well as hosting performances and exhibitions of professional and non-professional artists with the mission of enhancing social cooperation and cohesion beyond ethnic, religious, generational, and socio-economic divides, thus nurturing human creative and spiritual development and quality of life. It works closely with its first continental network member, the European Network of Cultural Centers (ENCC) ( to help other national and continental networks be formed and to foster around the world an understanding of art and local intangible heritage as key forces for a better quality of life.

As the global voice for advocacy and support for 3C’s around the world the I3C:

  • conducts country cultural mappings; finds and shares good practices in local socio-cultural management
  • reviews and selects from existing research a database of relevant analytical work as well as a list of scholars and research centers associated in I3C’s Research Advisory Group (RAG)
  • organizes trainings, workshops, seminars, and conferences, such as the Summer School on Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (
  • specializes in consulting on cultural network-building, program sustainability, and public-private partnerships (PPP model) for: community cultural centers and/or traditional communities of heritage practitioners; Ministries of Culture; intergovernmental organizations such as UNESCO and UNICEF; development institutions such as IMF and the World Bank; national and international NGOs
  • motivates and monitors the creation of new national and continental networks; supports community initiatives where 3C’s remain inactive
  • raises awareness of UNESCO’s and EU cultural policies and good practices nationally and internationally
  • develops a UN consultative status
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Martina Borovac Pečarević

Martina Borovac Pečarević works as Head of Directorate for European Affairs and Media at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia where she is in charge of EU funding/projects (coordinator of the process of programming 2014-2020) and EU programmes (Culture 2007-2013/Creative Europe), international cultural cooperation, media, digitization of cultural heritage, Croatian cultural strategy 2014-2020 – cultural policies, cultural and institutional reform, cultural management and education in cooperation with Kennedy Center Washington.

From 2004 until 2011 she worked at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, where she was dealing with international cultural cooperation, political issues, negotiation and accession to the EU and the relations with the EU institutions.

From 2006 until 2010 she was a cultural attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the Kingdom of Belgium, but also dealt with politics and from 2009 also worked as a head of the consular section.

In 2011 Martina obtained a PhD with the thesis “Prospective Development of the European Cultural Policies: Intercultural Dialogue and Multiculturalism” at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb.

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YTA Union – Varelian Gunia Union of Young Theatre Artists

Valerian Gunia Union of Young Theatre Artists (YTA Union) is a a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1998 by professors and students of Tbilisi State Art Academy and Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film. Since 2011 YTA Union has been the national centre for OISTAT: International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (Organisation Internationale des Scénographes, Techniciens et Architectes de Théatre).

YTA Union’s goals are:

  • Development of Theatrical and Fine Arts
  • Support of creative activity and promotion of artistic research and self-expression of young artists
  • Protection of creative, professional and social interests of young theatrical artists and critics
  • Development of cultural policy

YTA Union’s objectives are creative work and research of cultural policy and intercultural dialogue in Georgia through:

  • Promotion of new creative ideas in theatrical art
  • Stimulation and support of active integration in international theatrical creative processes of young Georgian theatrical artists and their propagation, promotion of contacts between young people
  • Creation of the union young scenographers and protection of their professional interests
  • Carrying out of scientific research and educational activity in sphere of Georgian theatrical arts
  • Development of new methodologies (including cultural policy)
  • Support of mutual cooperation of the non-governmental organizations working in sphere of culture, coalition cooperation in sphere of a cultural policy
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Yashar Huseynli

Yashar Huseynli is head of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Division at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. He was also senior expert and deputy head of the Ministry’s Cultural Policy Department. He studied philosophy at the Moscow State University and philosophy and sociology at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. Yashar had worked as a teacher, rector assistant and lecturer of humanitarian disciplines at the Western University, lecturer of philosophy at the State Administration Academy, and deputy head of Ethics and Aesthetics Department at the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.

He gained experience in national and international programs and projects such as: the Kyiv Initiative for Democratic Development through Culture, STAGE Project, Alexander Dumas in Caucasus, Creating Cultural Capital, European Heritage Days, Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue, National Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Azerbaijan Mugam, Cultural Policy Observatory “Europe-Caucasus-Asia,” CUPOLA’s Legends of Commonwealth, Azerbaijan Culture Development Program, and others. He is also author of various geo-cultural, sociological, political ethics and philosophical publications.

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Gunay Gurbanova

Gunay Gurbanova is an adviser to the Cooperation with International Organizations and Programs Division of the International Relations and Cultural Programs Department of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan since 2009, and previously adviser to the Scientific Methodical Center on Cultural Studies of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Between 2006 and 2007 she worked at the UN Office in Azerbaijan, providing administrative support to the Office of the Resident Coordinator and reporting to the senior assistant to the UN Resident Coordinator. She achieved a Master’s Degree in 2009 at the Azerbaijan University of Languages, Faculty of International Relations and European Studies.

She has attended and co-organized a number of high-level conferences and seminars, including: the XXVI Meeting of TURKSOY Culture Ministers, 16-17 October 2009, Baku, Azerbaijan; the VI Islamic Conference of OIC Culture Ministers, 13-15 October 2009, Baku, Azerbaijan; the Seminar on Islamic Culture, International Tourism and Intercultural Dialogue, 1-10 September 2009, Leeds, UK; the UNESCO Central Asian and CIS Sub-Regional Training Workshop, 23-25 February 2009, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; the Annual Compendium Authors Meeting, 4-5 December 2008, Baku, Azerbaijan; the CoE Culture Ministers’ Conference, 2-3 December 2008, Baku, Azerbaijan; and the CIS Cultural Cooperation Council, 23-25 September 2008, Almati, Kazakhstan.

Her other work includes: research of Azerbaijani cultural samples in British museums, coordination of the website of the Information Observatory on Cultural Policy of GUAM Countries; preparation of a project of registration of intangible heritage of Azerbaijan, preparation of a project promoting Azerbaijan’s World Famous Monuments.

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