In the last decade, Turkey has undergone many changes both culturally and politically, and these changes have in turn had a fundamental effect on subculture and underground contemporary club culture. In the wake of an Islamistic reconfiguration of culture, the social climate is growing more conservative and less conducive to an adventurous, inclusive music scene.
There is a growing disdain for pleasurable appreciation of music; also, diversity and alternative lifestyles have been victims of ideological backlashes, not least of which terrorist attacks like the one on the Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve. In which ways has this hostility and violence impacted the country’s club culture and music scenes? How can musicians today guarantee free, safe spaces for themselves and their art? What can the Turkish musical community in Berlin do in relation to the state of affairs in their home country? In this panel, several musicians based in or between Istanbul and Berlin speak with moderator Banu Çiçek Tülü to share their own observations and address these questions.
Baris Bilenser was born in 1983 and graduated from İstanbul Bilgi University’s Faculty of Communication. He brought the city magazine ZERO from Italy to Istanbul in 2009. Later, in 2010, he launched It's Istanbul, a cultural communication agency that devoted itself to organizing cultural events and exhibitions in areas that were either deserted or hardly ever used.
Based between Berlin and Istanbul, queer-living DJ, producer and curator, İpek İpekçioğlu has an established reputation across nightlife scenes worldwide. Her latest EP, Uyan Uyan, is released by the Katermukke label. She has performed at the Glastonburry, Fusion, Sziget, At.tension, Berlin Festival and many more international electronic and world music festivals.
Banu Çiçek Tülü is an independent researcher, urban designer and DJ based Berlin. For the past years, she have been developing her ideas and research through extradisciplinary praxis by acting as an initiator of diverse research projects that utilise editorial, curatorial, artistic and academic methodologies.
Barış K is a veteran DJ and expert crate-digger from Istanbul who specialises in Turkish psychedelia and cosmic disco. Heavily influenced by hip hop, Barış delivered weekly shows on Istanbul's Dinamo FM and Açık Radyo for nearly ten years before turning his attention to the native sounds of his city.