Zeynep AKTÜRE

2012

From : Izmir, Turkey
To: Porto, Guimarães, Portugal

3rd International Conference Proceedings of the on Heritage and Sustainable Development

Architecture, Interdisciplinary

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How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

Due to the poor connection of Izmir to Porto, and my delayed change of reservation to cancel the Lisbon leg of my planned trip at a reasonable price, I had to stay two nights at the Istanbul airport, on my way to and back from Porto. Additionally, I missed my scheduled Frankfurt-Porto flight due to the delay in the connecting flight from the busy Istanbul airport. This left me about four days in Porto and one in Guimarães. Considering the length of the conference I attended, from June 19 Tuesday afternoon to June 22 Friday evening, the duration of my stay was not ideal to come to know Porto and Guimarães better, as my primary concern was to get acquainted with these two important UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It, nevertheless, allowed me some unique experiences, briefly described below.

How does exchange, networking and international contacts contribute to the development of your artistic and cultural project?

As I am working on the entries from Turkey in the UNESCO WHL, which is a global category of heritage by nature, I esteem exchange, networking and international contacts indispensable, not only to share the outcomes of the project with an international expert public for the future development of the project, but also to be able to achieve those outcomes themselves which is impossible without adopting a wide and long-term comparative perspective. However, Turkey's pending candidacy for EU membership is an occasional problem for the international projects of artists and cultural professionals with TR nationality, as it leaves them out of the framework of many EC funding programmes since we are from neither a EU member nor a EU non-member state. This status is causing difficulties also in visa, stay permit, and professional work permit procedures in Schengen countries. I have no residence and professional experience so far in countries outside of Europe.

Can you elaborate on the learning and knowledge you have gained and shared throughout this experience?

I agree wholeheartedly that mobility has contributed a lot in my competences and skills. To continue with the above topic of language, the more time I spend in places where I don't speak and understand the local language, the more I learn to make sense of speech in reference to contextual information. As an example, during a conference in Sicily last year in 2011, I observed that my capacity to make sense of conversation in the Italian language in reference to my average knowledge of Spanish and French was higher than that of some Italian colleagues of speech in Spanish or French. This flexibility opens a larger field of interaction with colleagues during international professional meetings and events where I usually find myself as one of the very few if not the only participant from Turkey. During my earlier participations, this latter had resulted in a questioning of my own observations and research conclusions about the case of and cases from Turkey. This questioning helped me to realize my potential contribution to these meetings and events as a participant from Turkey who also has considerable research and life experience in Spain and Greece on the two end of the Mediterranean. One of the difficulties I have been encountering for some time now was with the funding of similar experiences. I am now learning about some funding options and meeting potential partners for collaborative projects thanks to the opportunities opened up through mobility.




Roberto Cimetta Fund

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