istanbul theater festival

Press release




17/11/18 - 4/12/18


Platform 0090 will take part in the Istanbul Theatre Festival with five stage shows. ‘Choice from Flanders’ gets a major role in the 22nd edition of what is the most important theatre event of the year in Turkey. As part of this event, Platform 0090, IKSV and Kunstenpunt are organizing a five-day art criticism workshop featuring a select choice of Flemish and Turkish journalists. This workshop is extremely relevant, because of the precarious condition of art and art criticism in Turkey.


Platform 0090 and Istanbul Theatre Festival have been cooperating for a number of years. In 2004, 0090 started a festival with Turkish visual artists and performers and with artists working at the intersection of these two fields. In the meantime, 0090 has evolved to become a platform supporting about 20 international artists in these domains. Istanbul Theatre Festival is one of its longstanding partners in the exchange between Belgium and Turkey. In both directions, artists get to know each other and to experience a diverse reality.


This cooperation has now been extended by Sven Gatz, Flemish Minister for Culture, Media, Youth and Brussels, who is providing extra financial support. In this way Mr Gatz aims at fostering art criticism, which is struggling to survive in this precarious climate.
While Istanbul Theatre Festival used to focus on well-established names, it is now also inviting younger artists. It embraces creative minds who set out to abandon the current theatrical tradition in Turkey in order to experiment with different aspects of the creative process, from light to scenography.

'Choice from Flanders' consists of five productions, each linked in their own way with Turkey.
Bára Sigfúsdóttir

When she was giving a workshop in Istanbul, Islandic choreographer Bára Sigfúsdóttir got acquainted with Iranian dancers Masoumeh Jalalieh and Seyed Alireza Mirmohammadi. Together they have made ‘being’. The show presents a physical encounter between the West and the Middle East, in which the human body is the instrument encouraging the dialogue.

Fourfold (Autonomous Scenography)
Meryem Bayram en Guy Rombouts

An installation performance by Turkish visual artist and scenographer Meryem Bayram, who is also a staff member of Platform 0090, and her Belgian colleague Guy Rombouts. In this show two people generate new interpretations by folding and unfolding a gigantic square paper.


White on White
Marc Vanrunxt en Bahar Temiz

During a project of Platform 0090 in Istanbul in 2014, choreographer Marc Vanrunxt met Bahar Temiz, one of the most important contemporary dancers in the European scene. He has written the solo ‘White on White’ for her, which has a strong visual character thanks to the input of Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven and Jean-Paul Lespagnard.


Nocturnal Symposium
Mesut Arslan

Mesut Arslan, theatre artist and founder of 0090, has reworked the show of the same name, made by Eric De Volder. In an impressive scenography, developed by Lawrence Malstaf and Meryem Bayram, he investigates the complex relation between people and systems.


Gizem Aksu

Art, politics and philosophy meet in the work of Turkish artist Gizem Aksu, who came to Belgium through Marc Vanrunxt. In her dance performance ‘YU’, the human organs form a metaphor for an inner quest.




Crticism Workshop


During the Theatre Festival, Platform 0090, IKSV and Kunstenpunt are organizing a five-day art criticism workshop. From 22 to 26 November, some ten experienced  critics writing for Flemish and Turkish newspapers and magazines will attend local as well as ’Choice from Flandres’ productions.


TR - Gülin Dede Tekin, Ozan Ömer Akgül, Melike Saba Akın, Aylin Alıveren
BE - Wouter Hillaert, Jan Dertaelen, Ciska Hoet, Filip Tielens, Gilles Michiels


Under the supervision of Özlem Hemis (Kadir Has University | KHU, Department Theater) they will discuss what they have seen and will exchange perspectives. Central to the debate are the difficulties that journalists have to cope with, ranging from the demanding working conditions to the lack of a supportive context in which fair criticism is possible. In Turkey as well as more generally the position of journalism has become vulnerable and has to be guaranteed again and again.


For more information and high resolution images:

Liesbet Waegemans

+32 (0) 486 87 84 81