Istanbul-Berlin Residency Program

Since 2018, two scholarships have been granted annually to artists who live in Istanbul. The existing Istanbul stipend of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe was expanded to a true exchange, with a jury annually selecting two artists from Istanbul to be sent to Berlin and vice versa. The aim is to further enhance the relations between the partner cities of Berlin and Istanbul as well as the connections to the Turkish art scene. This is done with the conviction that international exchange and direct communication allow cultural diversity be experienced as an enrichment, inviting people to a change in perspective.
The scholarship takes place as part of a cooperation between the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) and ZK/U (from 2018 to mid 2021), from June of 2021 on with Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin, and DEPO in Istanbul.

Ece Eldek

January 15 – June 15, 2024

The visual artist and poet Ece Eldek works with video, photography, performance, installation and poetry. Eldek‘s artistic work focuses on networks of social, political and cultural relationships, and on interwoven mechanisms and processes. Based on the idea that subjective experience is reshaped and generated by the environment, the memory and by the socio-political space, she positions herself as an artist in various networks of relationships and explores them from the inside.

Between 2005 and 2009, she studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design at Marmara University in Istanbul. She is one of the founding members of the art initiatives TOZ Artist Run Space and Her Hal in Istanbul and is co-founder and editor of the online magazine Moero, founded in 2020, which contributes to the visibility of women in the poetry scene. She has shown her artistic work in numerous international exhibitions and biennials, including most recently at the Istanbul Biennial, SALT Galata Istanbul and the Piccadilly International Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea.

Fatma Çelik

July 15 – December 15, 2023

For more than a decade, Fatma Çelik has been producing photography and video works on the issues of identity, memory, ecology, and gender. As a Kurdish woman artist who has been working in Northern Kurdistan for many years, she is especially interested in narratives and archives around the tense situation that Kurdish people are facing in that region and their lives in the diaspora.

In Berlin, Çelik will continue and expand her long-term research project Back to Nature with women who have created their own space in the Hevrin Xelef Garden under the umbrella of Flamingo e.V., a Berlin-based organization that works mostly with migrants. In Back to Nature she follows Kurds, Alevis, Assyrians, and Chaldeans who have returned to their villages evacuated in the 1990s, and have initiated practicing organic agriculture and animal husbandry there. Now she wants to follow Kurds and other communities living in the diaspora who cannot return to their villages and created gardens/spaces for themselves in the places where they live.

Fatma Çelik (b. 1987) graduated from İnönü University (Malatya) Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance in 2009. Between 2012-2021 she was one of the members of NarPhotos Collective.  She participated in several group exhibitions such as REGENERATE: Noorderlicht Internationaal Photo Festival, Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, NL (2023), Cultural Dialogue: Artistic Collaboration: Support for Production: To Look, Record and Tell in order to Remember at Depo, İstanbul (2022), On Solitude and Water at Depo, İstanbul / Bomontiada, İstanbul / Amed Şehir Tiyatrosu, Diyarbakır / Çetin Emeç Sanat Galerisi, Izmir (2018-2020), Women and Prison 5, Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Exhibition Hall (2016) and On the Road, Istanbul Modern (2014).

The stipend of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion is made possible in the frame of a cooperation between the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) and the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin as well as DEPO in Istanbul.