What will the artistic face of İstanbul look like in 2010?

İstanbul is gearing up for the year 2010, when it will assume the title of the European Capital of Culture, and the projects to be carried out in connection with this have already started blossoming.

Amidst all the discussions as to what sort of projects will be implemented, lengthy lists of activities have been made and the projects have been determined for the most part. The first priority for the organizers of the Capital of Culture project was undoubtedly restorations and urban transformation projects. However, there are five other less visible fields that will be central to the cultural events: literature, music, cinema-documentary, animation and performing arts. To better publicize İstanbul's role as a European cultural capital across the globe, world-renowned artists, men of letters, screen and stage directors and musicians will be invited to İstanbul in 2010.

Books, films and stage shows themed around the concept will be produced.
Performing arts: Among the stage arts events to be held before and throughout 2010 are the 2008 İstanbul Theater Festival, the 2009 Turkey Theater Festival and the 2010 European Universities Theater Festival; "Contacting The World," a global get-together for young stage artists; the Symposium of Education and Restructuring in the Turkish Theater; Drawing the Map of İstanbul Theaters; the İstanbul International Ballet Competition, which will be launched this September; the world premiere of "Prometheus' Freedom," directed by famed Greek stage director Theodoros Terzopoulos; and the Amber Art and Technology Platform, which will blend art with technology in performing arts.

Cinema: In the field of cinema, there will be the "İstanbul Beyazperde Kitabı" (The Silver Screen Book of İstanbul), which will talk about the films set in İstanbul; the movie "10 İstanbul," to be shot by 10 foreign directors, giving their accounts of 10 separate districts in İstanbul; and the documentary "Türk Sinemasında İstanbul" (İstanbul in Turkish Cinema), which will showcase how İstanbul locations frequently used in Turkish movies have undergone changes over the decades.

Literature: For literature, there will be a novel writing competition aimed at getting esteemed authors from both Turkey and abroad to produce novels that center on İstanbul; the Literature Map of İstanbul, which will focus on İstanbul's districts where native and foreign writers spent major parts of their lives; an essay competition on İstanbul aimed at students; and the "Dillere Destan İstanbul" (Legendary İstanbul) project, which will host one writer from each of the past and upcoming European capitals of culture and have these writers pen works about İstanbul. Another project is a book titled "İstanbulum" (My İstanbul), which will compile essays by 40 İstanbulite writers about their life stories and the stories of their neighborhoods.

Music: For music, there is currently a concert series called "2010'a Gider İken" (On the Way to 2010), which was launched on June 21, World Music Day. This is one of the main projects in the field of music. The admission-free concerts will be held every month in the city's most frequented squares, public transportation areas and parks. There will also be mini concerts titled "Tarih ve Müzik Kucaklaşıyor" (History Embraces Music) to be held in historical sightseeing locations; and the "Gençlerle Gençler İçin" (For the Youth with Youngsters) concert series, aimed at changing the public's perception of classical music as "elitist." The founding of a new orchestra called the İstanbul 2010 National Youth Orchestra, which will consist of young professional instrumentalists, is also among plans within the scope of the project's music leg. The organizers in addition plan to launch an international festival of contemporary musical theater.

Musa İğrek, İstanbul
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