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Art, Ecology & Activism

SAHA Studio
Video(panel discussion) - Istanbul, 24 September 2022

In the first of the World Weather Network talks held at SAHA Studio in parallel with the 17th Istanbul Biennial, they focus on the recent past of the contemporary art scene and possible future scenarios.

Dünya Hava Durumu Ağı Konuşmaları #1 - World Weather Network Talks #1 from SAHA on Vimeo.

About this Event


In the first of the World Weather Network talks held at SAHA Studio in parallel with the 17th Istanbul Biennial, they focus on the recent past of the contemporary art scene and possible future scenarios.

We are going through a period in which ecology and environmental crises are at the top of the agenda of contemporary art. The number of works of art and initiatives that deal with the crises our world is facing and find their context in the human age is increasing day by day. What have been the results of this relationship, which we can watch simultaneously in the world and in Turkey, and what could it be? Where to look to identify the limitations of art's connection to ecology and activism? Which dialog areas should be established? Sibel Horada, Aslıhan Demirtaş, Çelenk Bafra and İlksen Mavituna came together in this panel; they talk about the context of activism in the relationship of art with ecological crises, the actors of this context and the new positions that a response to the crisis will require.

Part of the World Weather Network’s year-long programme of artist-led weather stations, online weather reports, and live events fostering debate and discussion about the climate crisis, in this conversation the urgency of collaboration across the arts, sciences and policy-making is explored by two contrasting minds, meeting for the first time.

Commissioned by SAHA for World Weather Network.

Part of the weather station: Istanbul, Turkey - find out more here.    


Sibel Horada focuses on collective and personal histories with an interest in urban, archaeological and ecological cultures. She investigates memories of erasure with stories that weave together strange, coincidental details. For Horada, memory is not only the act of recollection, but also a process of reproduction and transformation. Using text and forms, she materializes her encounters in poetic sculptures and installations. After completing her BA in Visual Arts at Brown University, USA in 2003, she pursued her MA in the Faculty of Art and Design at Yıdız Technical University. Horada was an artist in residence at Camargo Foundation (2020) as part of BMCT, SAHA Studio (2019), MataderoMadrid (2013) and AmongOtherThings in Bolu (2010). She was the recipient of HSBC sculpture competition in 2007. She lives and works in Istanbul.

Aslıhan Demirtaş

Aslihan Demirtas is an architect and principal of the interdisciplinary studio Aslihan Demirtas Design & Research Office, based in New York and Istanbul. Her practice crosses disciplines in the forms of building, research exhibitions, and art projects. Often landscape becomes installations in her work.


İlksen Mavituna studied philosophy at Galatasaray and Istanbul Universities. He studied ecology, published translations, as well as contemporary French phenomenology and political philosophy. Since 2005, he has taken part in various positions at Açık Radyo and prepared radio broadcasts in the fields of literature, philosophy and contemporary art. He is still in charge of the broadcast coordination of Açık Radyo.

Çelenk Bafra

Çelenk Bafra is a curator and the director of the SAHA – Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey and the SAHA Studio since 2018. From 2011 to the end of 2017, she was the curator and the director of exhibitions and programs at Istanbul Modern. Between 2001 and 2010, she worked at Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and assumed various roles, such as the director of the Istanbul Biennial, the artistic coordinator of Saison de la Turquie in France, the founding director of the Studio of Turkey at Cité des Arts in Paris and the advisor of the Pavilion of Turkey in the Venice Biennale. Bafra curated exhibitions and programs in museums and art institutions in Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. She writes reviews for publications and periodicals and produces and presents a weekly podcast “Hariçten Sanat” [Art from the Exterior] broadcast on Mondays on Açık Radyo. She is a member of CIMAM and AICA Turkey; and was appointed by the French Ministry of Culture a member of the board of directors of MUCEM in Marseille until 2016.