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new place new PASAJ

a new PASAJ in a new space 

We care about the transformative impact of participatory art projects on artists, participants and PASAJ. In the projects realized in PASAJ, the neighborhood was built on friendships, relationships, witnessing the moment, and the rapid change process in the neighborhood. In this process, which artists shared with people from outside the art circle, coexistence between different ages and social backgrounds emerged.

Passage 2010 has been relocated 5 times since 2010 and reshaped each time by connecting with the local of the neighborhood it is in. _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b_136bad5cf58d for three years in June We had to leave Tarlabaşı with the destruction of the place of  Ismail, with whom we cooperated. Not only we, but also our neighbors went to different parts of the city or their hometowns due to the increasing rent.

For the first time, in Istanbul, which gave more immigration than it received, PASAJ relocated and settled in Karaköy, and continues its projects by cooperating with Nimet Han on Mumhane Street and the inns around it. Here, we focus on the memory of the place and work on the structure, facilities, past and future of the room it is in, Nimet Han and Karaköy. In these days when we are going through a rapid social change, we aim to make visible the memory, which is easily lost, and it is argued that it is not important to lose it.


We recommend the artists we invite to intervene in the venue in a playful way. In the first exhibition “Loading” held in April 2018, AslieMk, Cevahir Akbaş and Züleyha Altıntaş' different approaches to memory came together. In the second exhibition curated by Inez Piso, Hacer Kıroğlu identified the square room of PASAJ as the center of a storm that constantly changes the neighborhood around it for “Silent Square in Karaköy”. He placed his works in four different locations, from the old traditional inn to the hidden rooftop churches of Karaköy. In September 2018, Ezgi Tok, based on concepts such as standard, unit, order, and randomness, interfered with the floor of the space with her installation “Remainder”. 

PASAJ planned its new term program as a series of projects titled “It messes with my mind, it touches my soul” and meetings related to them. It continues its activities in the form of an experience and meeting space for artists and participants rather than an exhibition format. With this program, PASAJ, supported in 2019 by Roberto Cimetta's Tamteen fund 2019, aims to focus on “freedom of artistic expression” and “memory of space”. As in previous years, it supports artists who want to work with a participatory and social focus.

PASAJ hosts exhibitions, interventions, workshops, talks, performances of local and international artists that do socially engaged and participatory art projects. It seeks ways to facilitate skills exchange and tries to establish an environment where artists may encounter different communities. It respects the local knowledge, history and memory of a place. Relocated 5 times, each time PASAJ experienced different milieu's conditions and social assets.


Now located in Karakoy neighborhood, PASAJ organizes a series of exhibitions and network meetings under the name of “Bothers my brain, touches my soul”. The program concentrates on freedom of artistic expression investigated in various levels and directions. Today we witness an overall increase in the suppression of freedom of expression. PASAJ as well directly faced a harsh censorship during its curatorial job in the 4th Istanbul Children and Youth Biennial in 2016. That groundbreaking event pushed us to regularly participate in artist solidarity meetings against censorship in Turkey, and to more deeply investigate the mechanisms and consequences of this phenomenon: what happens to the artists and their practices in today's challenging circumstances? In this relentless crackdown of free speech, which tools do they use to produce? Do they self-censor their own work? What are the precautions of being an artist today? Aware of the ongoing situation, we would like to investigate different practices and experiences. By doing so, we seek for unhampered transmission of thought.


In connection, PASAJ continues to explore the concept of memory, giving place on its schedule to the events developed around this matter. We consider the value of memory vital to experience, especially through the fast changing memory of events/places in Istanbul and contemporary Turkey: brutally gentrified neighborhoods, inaccessible public spaces, abolished/displaced landmarks; statues, sculptures, fountains. We believe that we can recall participatory memory practices, social representations of the forgotten or unknown past through socially engaged art projects produced in situ that invite the inhabitants around to share, discuss, collect and learn from the experiences together.


As a result of the project “Bothers my brain, touches my soul” we expect to move away from the difficulties of fighting alone and unit through commons, similarities, awareness and recollections. 

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