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Our vision

The goal of the university is to create a meeting point for people of various backgrounds and aspirations to exchange ideas, build ties, educate themselves and others, and participate in the production of knowledge and culture. Structured in the manner of an open university, we will offer both a scheduled program of events, workshops, classes, exhibitions, screenings etc., and a free-flowing atmosphere of intellectual pursuit and sophisticated cultural entertainment. We would like to welcome people who have something to share, be it their knowledge or skills, connections, resources, spirit, style, interest, attention, vision, creative input or criticism. 

We would like to give the opportunity to study, integrate culturally and professionally primarily to migrants from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine who were forced to flee the war, political repressions or economic hardships. But our doors will also open to migrants form other countries as well as Turkish citizens.

Our activities

Lectures, classes, conferences, and workshops

 

In the ever shifting socio-political, economic, and environmental landscapes of our tumultuous present there is a need for a quiet shelter for critical reflection and sharing of knowledge in an atmosphere of trust. As per its geographical position, the university should promote its non-western decolonial perspective providing a platform to like-minded scholars, academics, NGO and women’s rights workers who approach various pressing issues of our time to give lectures and create courses based on their professional agenda. The university will also host conferences on important subjects and invite international scholars through partnerships with various foundations and cultural organisations.

Film space

 

As one disenchanted film scholar remarked, the only consequence of a film is another film. However, as practicing filmmakers, we take this saying as a blessing in disguise. Meaning that watching and making films are inseparable activities. The first step in this would be watching and to do that, we will start a cinema club with a program of screenings and discussions of subaltern, hidden, forgotten, undiscovered, different, queer and artist films. Screenings will be an integral part of the education and will be accompanied by lectures on relevant historical context by prominent historians and film scholars. 

 

By reigniting interest in film as art, we will set ideas and energies in motion and start building a community of practicing and aspiring filmmakers and scholars who would like to reflect on pertinent issues of our time through the production of experimental films, videoart, and other forms of innovative screen-based narratives. 

Art space

 

We would like to support Istanbul’s bustling community of young and emerging artists in creating a space of meeting and interaction that offers potential for desperately needed feedback on their practice allowing them to develop, grow, and exhibit their work, build professional relationships and push their career to the place they would like to be. Every year, one out of an average of 1600 Istanbul’s art school graduates scores major gallery representation. The rest are left to make it pretty much on their own. Some end up navigating the bureaucracy of the international art system, others resort to local galleries and institutions or artist-run activities, yet others give up for the lack of support. Our art space can occupy a vacant niche between the top institutions in the city that work mostly with already established artists and the under-the-radar grass root initiatives. We can work with the majority of young and emerging artists, helping them make their way up in the art system.

Social events

 

The university will build its reputation of a vibrant place of fun and sophistication by attracting the hip circles of the city including but not limited to representatives of the art, film, business, LGBTQ+, and media communities. Theme parties, brunches, dj nights, auctions, dog parties, all gender beauty pageants, dada performances, poetry readings, charity balls, vernissages, live music, book launches, stand-up comedy, backgammon championships are among the types of events that would be able to come to life in our institution.

International relations

 

The institution should take full advantage of its geographical location. Situated at the crossroads of Western Europe and the Middle East on the one hand, and, being major hub for recent migration from Russia and Ukraine, we can become a focal point for migratory flows of cultural workers, free-minded intellectuals, and entrepreneurs from these regions and be open to various inputs from them.

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