Carried out since 2020 and presented through archive, exhibition and website, The “Performance Archive” that focuses on performance studies in Turkey was introduced by Salt Research and Programs team, including Salt Research and Programs Assistant Director Fatma Çolakoğlu, Salt Program Supervisor Amira Akbıyıkoğlu and Salt Library and Archive Director Sezin Romi, at Digilogue Summit’22. The panel was held with the perspectives of archivists and programmers, where visualizing the research, recording the performance and sharing the digitized archives with the public were evaluated.

Zorlu PSM Sky Lounge

20-21 October 2022


Fatma Çolakoğlu stated that they were examining the concept of performance beneath art by focusing on research, questioning and production. The new web project “Turkey Performance Study 1984-1999”, conducted with a similar focus to the “90s on the Stage” exhibition, was made accessible with the support of Salt. During the long-term research process, the focus was on the performances held in Turkey from 1984 to 1999. Including events and performances, the documentation compiled through this process was presented to the public for the first time. 

Compiled from different studies, the project aimed to shed light on the period between 1984-1999, and also to stand as a source of reference by creating an inventory that would be improved with new knowledge and sources on performance in Turkey. It was stated by Amira Akbıyıkoğlu that the idea of creating an archive on the performance that took place in the 1990s emerged during the research process.

The exhibition and website project was a part of “Our Many Europes” project of the European Confederation of Museums L’Internationale, of which Salt is a member.

The project approaches every detail from the emergence of Theatre Studies Laboratory as a part of İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Theatres in 1988 thanks to Ayla Algan, Erol Keskin and Bilsak tutor Beklan Algan, whose path crossed with Bilsak Theater Workshop and who participated in the events in the 90s when the concept of interdisciplinary newly emerged, to the parallel foundation of Ya Da Theater in 1991 by Hüseyin Katırcıoğlu, an experienced figure in theater and television. Another important detail in the archive is the “mass theater” example, a collaborative work of professional actors with local people without acting experience, actualized by Katırcıoğlu, who was the executive editor of Assos Performing Arts Festival until his death in 1999. The festival was held every autumn for two years and made a stage out of every corner of Behramkale Village in Çanakkale. However, it was not held in 1998 due to the structuring requests of the founding members and was organized for the last time in 1999 with the death of Katırcıoğlu. It is stated that the web project that was focused on the performances held during the period of its implementation and on performance art in Turkey.


Fatma Çolakoğlu

Salt Research and Programs Director

Fatma Çolakoğlu has been working in the field of culture and art in Istanbul for more than fifteen years. Working as Assistant Director of Research and Programs at Salt for more than three and a half years, Çolakoğlu assumed the position of Research and Programs Director in February 2022. After completing her undergraduate studies in film direction and cinema history at Emerson College in Boston, USA, she completed her master’s degree in theater directing at the University of London, Goldsmiths College in England. She founded the cinema department of Istanbul Modern in 2005 and until the beginning of 2008, she took on the administrative directorship of the department as well as the programming responsibilities of the institution. She then worked as a manager in public programs and communications at the Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum and Istanbul Research Institute for more than ten years. She founded the “Pera Film” section, the monthly film and video program of the Pera Museum, and also worked as the curator and project coordinator of the institution’s current exhibition projects. After being invited to the 2020 Berlin Film Festival Berlinale as a member of the International Short Film Jury, she participated in the 18th Videonale programs held in Bonn, Germany in 2021.

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Amira Akbıyıkoğlu

Salt Performances

Amira Akbıyıkoğlu has been working at Salt as a program manager since 2018. Art historian Ahu Antmen programmed Nur Koçak's Paintings of Happiness (2019) exhibition, and Consecutive exhibitions (2021) with curator Farah Aksoy. She worked with Vasıf Kortun, Farah Aksoy and Sezin Romi in İpek Duben's exhibition Skin, Body, Me. Her recent works include the 90s on Stage exhibition, which examines the cultural environment and art productions of 1990s Turkey through the concepts of stage and performance, and Turkey Performance Research 1984-1999.

Sezin Romi

Salt Library and Archive Director

Sezin Romi is Salt’s Director of Library and Archives. In addition to the library works at Salt Research, it carries out the necessary processes for the art archives to be opened for research and access. Romi, who worked on various projects that Salt carried out within the scope of Turkey art research, took part in the research and visualization of these projects: We were talking back then (2012-2013), From England With Love, İsmail Saray (2014-2015), Idealist School, Productive Atelier (2018). -2019), The History of the Painting and Sculpture Museums Association (2022), Turkey Performance Research 1984-1999 (2022). Romi is the co-editor of İsmail Saray (2018), who prepares e-publications including We were talking between them (2013), İpek Duben Articles and Interviews 1978-2010 (2016) and A Modest Heritage – Nilgün Özayten Book (2013).

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Stage, Record, Archive: Performances