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  • Writer's pictureNesin İstasyon

The first event, from the village to Istanbul; Station Stage is in Kadıköy!

At the beginning of their careers, an EU-funded project, the ELELE Support Grant Program, aims to provide young artists aged 18-29 with stage experience by working with expert mentors in their fields.

Although we initially envisioned the structure of this project as a small stage in Nesin Village, we wanted it to revive the sense of unity we lost when leaving the village and couldn't find in our cities; and to serve as a beautiful hub to gather our connections, it found its place in Alan Kadıköy Stage, which we call İstasyon Sahne.

From storytelling to dance, and from theater to music, many performing arts are showcased on this open stage, where young artists enjoy expressing themselves and showcasing their talents.

At the core of the project is the aim to support and empower young artists at the beginning of their careers. Therefore, young people aged 18-29 who come together under the Nesin Villages Association receive training in nonviolent communication and art therapy before gaining stage experience. These trainings facilitate our process of becoming a community and help young artists find their unique artistic expressions.

The art camp provides an opportunity for young artists to explore themselves and learn artistic expression tools. After the camp, they prepare for stage performances through one-on-one sessions with four artist mentors. The organization of the stage night is also carried out by members of the association, thus ensuring that young artists are involved in every stage of the process and strengthening our sense of community.

The İstasyon Sahne night is open to young people who attend summer school in Nesin Villages, as well as to communities from surrounding areas and anyone else interested. Thus, while the elders of our village become part of an art practice, young artists enjoy the pleasure of practicing art free from anxious processes like finding an audience.

This project aims not only for individual but also organizational empowerment. By identifying the needs of young artists throughout the entire process, we support them, helping them establish more sustainable works and relationships.

The Open Stage project has become a platform where dreams come true, young artists are supported, and we strengthen ourselves as a community. We believe this journey will continue in the future, and we hope to sign many more successful projects!


Nonviolent Communication Educations

In September, we received online Nonviolent Communication training from our dear Özenç Kabasakal. Over five sessions, we engaged in plenty of exercises to develop the four basic steps of nonviolent communication, identify communication styles that inhibit compassion, and enhance empathy and connection-building skills.

Art Camp

As part of the Open Stage project supported by the ELELE EU Project, we were at Nesin Villages for the Art Camp, the second phase of the project. The one-week camp was enriched by Cansu Ergin's dance and movement workshops, Nazlı Çevik Azazi's storytelling-based practices, and Tuncay Korkmaz's music-centered discussions, along with surprise pop-up workshops by Randy Esen. Following the camp, young artists involved in the project began working with their mentors to prepare for Open Stage performances.

İstasyon Sahne

Starting with the Nonviolent Communication Training, continuing with the Art Camp and mentorship process, the approximately 3-month-long project culminated with İstasyon Sahne, as the new year approached, in Alan Kadıköy. The journey of young artists, whose acquaintance began with Nesin Villages, moved away from mainstream education filled with 'this is how it's done' approaches that push for certain techniques. With their mentors, they embarked on a journey to find their own voices, reaching the heart of Istanbul. It was an exciting day where we once again realized that traditional academic education alone is not sufficient for artistic originality, and how essential alternative working methods like these truly are.

Project Team:

Artists and Mentors:

Deniz Benzetsel - Mentored by Randy Esen

Ekim Benzetsel - Mentored by Bager Akbay

Ozan Cem Yılmaztürk - Mentored by Ezel Akay

Lale Madenoğlu - Mentored by Cansu Ergin

Nonviolent Communication Training:

Özenç Kabasakal

Art Camp Instructors:

Nazlı Çevik Azazi

Tuncay Korkmaz

Cansu Ergin

Randy Esen

Musicians accompanying the stage:

Ahmet Müftüoğlu (drums)

Cenk Esen (bass)

Association President:

Aycan Şahin

Project Coordinator:

Hilal Toker

Social Media:

Deniz Benzetsel

Video and Photography:

Burak Podak

Ozan Cem Yılmaztürk

Digital Booklet:

Yasemen Cemre Gürbüz

Spatial and Technical Support:

Alan Kadıköy Team


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