Artists reclaim deserted building in Tarlabaşı

Sunday is the day when many non-residents visit Tarlabaşı for the marvellous market that runs through the streets.  This Sunday there is an added incentive above great food though – a group of international and Turkish artists have been at work in one of the now deserted buildings.  What was once a family home from which the residents were evicted months ago to make way for the “renovation” programme, is now home to a series of exhibits under the title “Division Unfolded: Tarlabaşı Intervention“.

The work has been in place for a week or so now, but this Sunday, between 4pm and 6pm will see new installations and features unveiled for the first time and from what we have seen already, we can definitely recommend a visit – our artist friends have already given their approval!

To find it, look along Tarlabaşı Boulevard and you’ll see that the frontage of the gentrification project area is split in two; one half has huge boardings up showing the future Starbucks and patisserie world that beckons; the half of the project area is the emptied buildings – between them running down hill is Sakiz Ağaçi Sokak.  50m down is the first right turn, Eski Ҫeşme Sokak half way along which is the artists’ building.

The other way is to take the side street running between Istiklal Caddesi and  Demirören shopping centre and the mosque – and Sakiz Ağaçi Sokak is on the other side of the boulevard as you come downhill.

This entry was posted in art, Community, photographs, Tarlabaşı, Uncategorized, Urban and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Artists reclaim deserted building in Tarlabaşı

  1. Jinnah says:

    I am a resident of Tarlabaşı and had a look at that intervention. I really can not get the goal of this Division Unfolded: Tarlabaşı Intervention Event. 1. Some cheaply made Banksey stencils copies and some sentence like ” bu insanlar nerede ?” can not be called Art. 2. It doesnt help no one … all the locals know about the tragedy of the evicted people and families. Why remind them even more. 3. Its too late to set up a resistance. This area is lost. 4. Also encouraging non-locals to come to this area, i find irresponsible, because it is an abandoned outlaw area. Making photos of the people of tarlabasi can bring you in serious problems, if you are not familiar with the area. 5. Also I observe the tendency, that more and more hipster, neohippies and fancy looking foreigners, start renting flats in Tarlabasi. And this manly because of selfish reasons like: cheap rents, close to nightlife and because of ” slum romantic reason” . After the state lead gentrification, the classical “artist” gentrification has begun. With the ongoing Tarlabaşı Yenileniyor project, tensions will increase month by month and people will get more and more desperate. I want to outpoint that Tarlabasi will not get saver.

    • goround says:

      Hello Jinnah,
      Firstly I have to say, I have never been to Istanbul and arrived almost straight on this page of the blog so my response is purely to your response, coming from the position of an artist who has been part of an unwitting artistic catalyst in the gentrification of neighbourhoods and looked into processes of development schemes and their impact on local communities. Needless to say none of these issues are straightforward and go far deeper than first glance. I have asked many of these questions from a feeling of frustration at the approporiation of the working presence of artists who are struggling to have that opportunity, and the idea that this genuine and simple process contributes to the displacement of local communities rather than developing a mutually enjoyable exploration of creative development, personal and of shared environments. As a friend says, “beauty,”… ..and alternatives. I believe that there is a sense that, as in nature, there are cycles to the city, of growth, decay and rebirth from the fertile matter, however, that is not to say that there aren’t serious alternatives to the process of developers who capatalyse on the artists, the vulnerability of local populations, taxpayers etc.
      So, do you think that artists can play a more positive role? What would be a more relevant intervention for you? What do you think is the role of simple awareness from others about what is happening in any one area and how do you think you can nurture greater collaboration between these segments of the community to create a better defence against this kind of appropriation for corporate and individual profit? These are questions for you, and any one else! I will keep asking them of myself, engaging and investigating, and one day I hope to visit your beautiful city. Warm wishes, Mary

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