TODAY’S – Poland leaves its mark on Turkey’s cultural life in 2014

Poland leaves its mark on Turkey’s cultural life in 2014Art, music, theatre and cinema from Poland made an impressive splash in Turkey in the past year thanks to an all-encompassing, year-round cultural program put together by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Polish-Turkish diplomatic ties.Elements of Polish culture were presented in a total of 19 film screening programs, 34 theater performances, 23 classical music concerts, 45 live performances by jazz musicians and other contemporary music acts, and 30 fine arts-related events such as exhibitions and art fairs as part of the lineup, according to a recent news release issued by the programandrsquos publicists in Turkey.

The celebration was a mutual one as the program also featured a simultaneous leg in Poland, where Turkish culture was introduced with all its aspects.andldquoHowever important diplomatic ties may be, it is really culture that brings people closer together,andrdquo Olga Wysocka, deputy director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, was quoted as saying in the press release.

andldquoThe Adam Mickiewicz Institute, which is the coordinator of the cultural program [marking] the 600th anniversary, has done its best to bring to life this 12-month program that it started preparing two years in aance,andrdquo Wysocka added.The main organizer behind the program was Culture.

pl, a digital platform under the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Eleven Turkish cities, led mainly by Istanbul and Ankara, hosted the events in the program, which the Polish institute put together in collaboration with 44 cultural institutions active in various fields of the arts from Turkey.

The program, preparing to wrap up early 2015, has presented some 160 events to date, which drew around 800,000 audience members all togetherHigh-profile guests, popular eventsVeteran Polish classical composer-conductor Krzysztof Penderecki was one of the high-profile guests of the program, leading several concerts in Istanbul and Izmir throughout the year, as well as master filmmaker Andrzej Wajda The 88-year-old Wajda, who was this yearandrsquos recipient of the Istanbul Film Festivalandrsquos Lifetime Achievement Award, couldnandrsquot attend events honoring him due to health reasons, but his body of work was featured prominently at the Ankara and Istanbul film festivals as well as at the Pera Museum Films by late director Krzysztof KieIlowski were also in the lineup in a number of film festivals and screening programs in Turkey throughout the year, including the Gezici Festival (Festival on Wheels) and Documentarist, among others.Contemporary theater director Grzegorz Jarzyna, who presented two plays at this yearandrsquos Istanbul Theater Festival, where he also received a special award, film director Krzysztof Zanussi and jazz saxophonist Tomasz StaIko were also among Polish artists visiting Istanbul as part of the programBut the programandrsquos most popular events were mainly two exhibitions held in Istanbul and Ankara, the organizers said.

More than 41,000 art lovers visited the exhibition andldquoDistant Neighbor, Close Memories: 600 Years of Turkish-Polish Relations,andrdquo held from March 7 to June 15 at Istanbulandrsquos SakIp SabancI Museum (SSM), while an exhibition featuring posters by leading Polish designers attracted 66,000 viewers in Istanbul and Ankara combined.Around 9,000 music lovers attended classical music concerts by Polish musicians featured as part of various festivals in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and AntalyaFinal daysThree ongoing exhibitions in Istanbul, two of which extend into mid-January, are the final events on the lineup.

Until Jan. 18, the Pera Museum in BeyoIlu hosts the exhibition andldquoOrientalism in Polish Painting, Drawing and Graphics,andrdquo while SALT Galata presents andldquoRainbow in the Dark,andrdquo a wide-ranging, international selection of contemporary works of art mainly from the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

An exhibition titled andldquoFrederic Chopin and His Nostalgia in Tomek Sikoraandrsquos Photography,andrdquo first showcased in Warsaw four years ago for the 200th anniversary of Chopinandrsquos birth, is on display at the Istanbul Photography Museum in Fatih until Friday, Jan. 2In the meantime, the website Culture.

pl, which offered detailed information about the program in three languages (Turkish, Polish, English) throughout the year-long series, will continue to serve Turkish-speaking art enthusiasts as a source of information about arts and culture in Poland.Collaborations between Turkey and Poland in arts will also continue in the future, Wysocka said, adding that more Polish artists will be featured in Turkeyandrsquos upcoming jazz festivals, classical music events and contemporary art biennials.

andldquoThe aim is to enhance the cultural interaction between the two countries,andrdquo she added.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman