Ankara Queer Art Programme

Ankara Queer Art Program Artists Residency

27/02/2020 - 03/05/2020

Kaos GL Association, which has been working to eliminate the forms of discrimination faced by LGBTI+s since 1994, is happy to announce the opening of the Ankara Queer Art Program.




The capital, Ankara, is an artificially constructed city. While being invented as a project its history/roots have been removed during the establishment of Turkish Republic. It used to be a cosmopolitan settlement of the Ottoman Empire with its non-Muslim indigenous population and which hosted Western traders who frequently came for the goat trade. It had been a city that bears glorious traces of history such as Roman and Byzantium eras, all of which were ignored while it was presented as a steppe town that had been created from nothing. The population structure of the multi-layered, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic city has been changed through homogenizing and presenting it as a showcase of the nation that unites under the umbrella of a single language, race, and religion. This is why you may suddenly face a Roman column, an Armenian vineyard house, an 800-year-old mosque, a church wall, and rare examples of modern monumental architecture of Turkey as you wander the streets of the city today.


Culture, Art, Critique, Resistance in Ankara


In addition to all this, the capital Ankara, which is endowed with the joy of being a small-scale-metropolis, also carries the lovely face of a provincial town in a cosmopolitan environment that hosts metropolitan facilities but does not force people to long distance tranportation with all its complications, or neither to an exhausting, violent pace. The cute face of the provincial: in other words, the "friendly" aspects of the community relations are experienced, rather than a surveillant, supervisor face of a provincial town; naivety, real curiosities, real amazements are what you will encounter... The days pass with thinking and making conversations in this university and civil servant city. Ankara's social and political environment during the 1960s and '70s is where metropolitanism/cosmopolitanism and the provincial lighten each other out.


Ankara, is the city of Maarif, which had a translation bureau that became a gathering place for the literature circle of 1930's that encompassed writers such as Orhan Veli, Sabahattin Eyüboğlu, Melih Cevdet Anday, Azra Erhat, Nurullah Ataç, who colored the social and intellectual life of the city while working on the translations of  world literature; Ankara is the city of the creative and brave women of Language, History and Geography Faculty and National Radio and Television of Turkey like Behice Boran, Mediha Berkes, Sevda Şener, Adalet Ağaoğlu, Sevgi Soysal. The city of Damme Ninette De Valois, the founder of modern ballet in Turkey and that is also her who laid the foundations of the state opera and ballet and it is the city of Madame Marga, who popularised modern dance introducing it to the public.


During early 1950s, with the circle of Helikon, Ankara became a pioneering city of electronic music which has become the atonal wing of the second new poetry wave of Bülent Arel, Bülent Ecevit, İlhan Usmanbaş, İlhan Mimaroğlu, Ece Ayhan, Ertuğrul Oğuz Fırat, Hüseyin Cöntürk, Bilge Karasu.


The universities of Ankara, that defined the city as a university-city, and which are all inscribed  in the country's history of resistance, when in the 1968s the city witnessed how creative and revolutionary desire could be politically. The city became a center, where in METU posters are produced and were being distributed to whole country. It became the city of works of art that were produced in wood and metal workshops and also sexually libertarian balls, and also the city of Arkadaş Zekai Özger.


The city with the most vibrant art and culture environment became barren after the coup of 1980. Later places like Galeri Nev, Siyah Beyaz, were opened where modern and contemporary art community came together with many people coming from political resistance and philosophy, and also the young architects from METU. 


The establishment of METU Audio-Visual Systems Research and Production Center (GİSAM), which became a research lab through the workshops of artists and philosophers such as Angela Melitopoulos, Volker Schreiner, Hito Steyerl, Ursula Biemann, Maurizzio Lazzarato, Ulus Baker, became the place where the first examples of video art in these lands have been produced. Examples of avandgard video activism have been produced in Ankara from the mid-1990s through collectives such as Videa, Vitopia, Karahaber, 25+...


LGBTI+ marches taking place every May 17th since 2008... 2010 Tekel Resistance... 2013 Gezi Resistance, METU-100. Yıl Highway Resistance, Mosque-Cemevi Construction Protest... 2014 Yatağan Workers, Van Workers... Protests of We Want Our Jobs Back of 2016... It has been the city of video activists who documents the protests visually, filling the gaps of social memory, the city of archive-based collectives such as, Artıkişler, Anarşiv, İmkansız Arşiv.


Even though it is not there yet, Ankara has been pursuing new possibilities to bring back the glorious days through its institutions and initiatives such as the Anatolian Museum of Civilizations, Erimtan Museum of Archaeology and Art, Evliyagil Museum of Contemporary Art, CerModern, Black and White Gallery, Galeri Nev, Torun, Kova Art Space, Ka Photography Workshops. This sincere concern is one of the major motivations of the Ankara Queer Art Program.


Kaos GL in Ankara


Homosexuals who found each other in parks in the late 1980s come together with the dream of creating a magazine in the '90s, and in 1994 this dream came true. Our fighting areas have diversified after 25 years, as Kaos GL activists have stated, who started with the slogan "We Want Not Only Ghettos But The Whole City". Kaos GL is currently carrying out activities in 35 different cities for thousands of people, dozens of different professional groups. With our belief in the contagiousness of literature, dozens of publications (Kaos GL Magazine, peer-reviewed queer studies magazine Kaos Q+ and dozens others), a news website that began in 2007,  and the activities it has carried out with refugees for the last 10 years and activities in the field of art, Kaos GL is still inventing new spaces and means for activism.


Kaos GL, which has been organizing contemporary art exhibitions every two years, is establishing an international guest artist house in Ankara, open to applications from all around the world to promote queer art production processes.


Details of Ankara Queer Art Program Artists Residency


Accommodation-Workshop: An apartment will be provided for each artist resident for living and working. All costs, including rent, heating, water, electricity, wifi, etc. will be covered by the program.


Work-Project Production Budget: Ankara Queer Art Program will provide each artist resident with 400 Euros for research and production costs, if the resident needs.


Support: Kaos GL Academy and Cultural Studies Program will support artists during their time in Ankara by arranging meetings with the program's consultants and organizing visits to art spacecs and institutions. A local assistant will be accompanying the resident for communication and facilitating the mobility in the city.


Duration of the Program: Open to artists from all over the world, the Ankara Queer Art Program consists of two-month periods of resideny. The program will accept a total of 5 artists each year.


Travel: The costs of artists who are traveling from abroad to Ankara will be covered by Ankara Queer Art Program. At the same time, the travel organization will also be made and if requested, an invitation letter will be provided to the artist for the visa application.


 Food: Each resident artist will be provided with 800 Euros for 2 months..


Who Can Apply?


The application to the program is free.

Artists applying to the program from abroad are required to have knowledge of English at least at and intermediate level.

The artists who are selected for the program will be announced 15 days after the deadline.

The portfolios of the artists applying to the Ankara Queer Art Program will be evaluated by the selection committee consisting of art professionals.


Required documents for the application:


Resume - CV

Artist Portfolio Files containing artist's work must be in PDF format. Files should not exceed 20 MB, big-size videos must be sent as links. The application file must be sent to . There should be a maximum of 15 works in the portfolio.

Artist Text There should be a text that does not exceed 600 words of length, describing the artist's artistic practice. It can be sent in Turkish or English.

The Letter of Intent Must specify the reasons for the application, not exceeding 400 words.

Applications that do not comply with the specified format will not be evaluated.


The first artist will started to be hosted in Artist Residency from the date of 1st of June 2020. Please include in your application letter the two-month periods you prefer to stay in the residency in order of priority. You can write more than one period. Our periods are as follows: June-July, August-September, October-November, December-January, February-March.


Program Dates:

Application Start Date: February 27, 2020

Deadline: May 3, 2020

Announcement: May 15, 2020


Application e-mail:

For questions:


Selection Committee


Fatih Özgüven, Art Critic, Translator, Author

Nilbar Güreş, Artist

Çelenk Bafra, Director of the SAHA Association, Curator, Writer

Derya Bayraktaroğlu, Curator, Writer

Erinç Seymen, Artist

Kevser Güler, Curator

Bige Örer, Director of the Istanbul Biennial

Ege Berensel, Artist, Visual Researcher

Aylime Aslı Demir, Editor, Curator


Advisory Committee

Tanıl Bora, Academician, Author, Translator

Sibel Tekin, Academician, Video Activist

Funda Şenol Cantek, Academician, Author

Metehan Özcan, Artist, Academician

Ege Berensel, Artist, Visual Researcher

Deniz Artun, Director of Gallery Nev, Curator, Author

Ayla Deniz, Academician


Program Director

Aylime Aslı Demir


Selection Committee

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