Izmir Culture Workshop: Setting an Example

The recently held ‘Izmir Culture Workshop’ has aroused envy in all Turkey’s cities.

Izmir is now the envy of all other cities.  For on Saturday, October 24, Izmir took a small but serious step towards becoming an ‘international metropolis of art, culture and design’. Organized by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, the ‘Izmir Culture Workshop’ launched a virtual culture campaign in the city.

Coming to Izmir from Ankara and Istanbul, some 100 experts in the fields of art, culture and design discussed ‘Izmir, art and culture city of the future’ from dawn to dusk at the city’s restored coal-gas factory. Everything from the pawning off of culture onto the private sector to the reluctance of the public sector to get involved was discussed in all its ramifications.

Even those only slightly familiar with Izmir will have noticed that life there is lived mostly outside the home, especially in spring and summer when open-air activities are rife. It is therefore of some urgency that the gigantic park, the likes of which few cities possess, as well as the depots and factories around the port and the famous Izmir fair get a facelift. High on the list of things to be done in this city, whose galleries currently number 24, are initiatives in line with the newly developing concept of museology, and exploitation of the archaeological sites in the vicinity.
The two most talked about projects at the workshop were the construction of a new Izmir State Theater attached to the Municipality and of a magnificent new opera house at Karşıyaka. Small art initiatives, interdisciplinary projects, and international festivals and concerts were some of the other topics discussed. Coming soon.

Letter to the Louvre from Izmir
One of immediate-action outcomes from the Izmir Culture Workshop was the letter addressed to the Louvre Museum in Paris. The letter, in short, requests that the works displayed in the Louvre’s ‘From Smyrna to Izmir’ exhibition be returned to Izmir. Signed by all the prominent cultural and artistic figures that participated in the workshop, the letter’s response is highly anticipated.