‘Australia in Turkey 2015’, the Australian Government’s biggest cultural festival in Turkey, will be launched at the Istanbul Design Biennale in November.

The festival will present Turkish audiences with a contemporary face of Australian culture, showcasing the rich diversity of our innovative and multicultural nation. The four month celebration of Australian culture will be staged predominantly in Istanbul and Ankara from September to December 2015.

The program of events will introduce Turkish audiences to some of Australia’s leading contemporary performing artists, designers and thinkers and will run in parallel to, but be distinguished from, broader ANZAC Centenary commemorations.

Highlights of the program include: Greenhouse Istanbul by Joost, a pop-up restaurant by the renowned Melbourne-based landscape designer; an educational seminar by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation; and performances by Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.

It is our historical, cultural and community connections that form the foundation of our close relationship with Turkey. The cultural festival will extend Australia’s profile in Turkey beyond our shared ANZAC history by enhancing the contemporary reality of Australian as an innovative, democratic and diverse partner.

It comes at a time when Australia is closely engaged with Turkey on global challenges and in international forums through the MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, Australia) initiative and the G20.

The festival is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian International Cultural Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Program highlights

Gastronomy

Greenhouse Istanbul by Joost: Outstanding Melbourne-based landscape designer Joost builds and operates pop-up restaurants that are completely sustainable and waste free. Greenhouse Istanbul will be located at the prominent Istanbul site of Sishane Park, Beyoglu for the month of September 2015.http://byjoost.com/greenhouse

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation: A not-for-profit organisation that takes a revolutionary approach to food education focusing on pleasure, flavour and fun. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program will conduct an educational seminar in conjunction with Enka Schools and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au

Food & Film by Gastronomika: This is a collaboration between the Adelaide Film Festival and Gastronomika at SALT Istanbul. Food themed Australian short films will be presented with matching Australian food. Interpretation will be provided by Turkish chefs from Gastronomika, İstanbul.

Performing Arts

Bangarra Dance Theatre: Bangarra Dance Theatre is Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts company and is recognised nationally and internationally for distinctive theatre productions that combine the spirituality of traditional culture with contemporary forms of storytelling though dance. They will make their Turkish debut in 2015.http://bangarra.com.au

Flying Fruit Fly Circus: Performed by the young artists of Australia’s world famous youth circus, the show has played to capacity crowds and great critical acclaim in Australia. Specifically aimed at a young family audience, the Fruit Flies will delight and inspire their young Turkish audience. They will perform seasons in Diyarbakır, Istanbul and Ankara. http://fruitflycircus.com.au/video

Strange Fruit: A hypnotising show from the award winning team that performs a fusion of theatre, dance and circus, on five meters long flexible poles. The show will take place in Göreme, Istanbul and Ankara.http://vimeo.com/27529801

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer: In a highly imaginative fusion of animation, puppetry, projections, live and recorded music, Tim Watts tells the tale of deep sea explorer Alvin Sputnik. Performance will be a part of İzmir Puppets’ Festival.http://vimeo.com/69572000

Visual Arts

Tropfest: The world’s largest short film festival will be held in Babylon Istanbul, Ankara IF, Eskişehir Peyote and Çanakkale Hayal Kahvesi. Screenings will be followed by Australian/Turkish band Bashka’s concert.http://tropfest.com

Special screenings will be hosted by Australian movie producers as part ofİstanbul Film Festival, Ankara Film Festival and SineMardin Film Festival.

Concrete by Monash University Museum of Art: Concrete brings together the work of sixteen Australian and international artists, to consider the impact of time upon built and monumental form to mark the centenary of the First World War. Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University will host the installation at Tophane Gallery from Sept to Nov 2015.http://monash.edu/muma/exhibitions/2014/concrete.html

Artists in Residence: Innovative Australian artists will share their skills, knowledge and networks with local host communities as part of a program aimed at promoting sustained cross-cultural dialogue through reciprocal residencies that trial new models of engagement.

Music

World-renowned Australian musicians will perform at theBabylon Istanbul - Australia Music Festival and the Göreme Contemporary Music Festival.

Sports

The inaugural TurkishMountain Bike Championship - Black Sea will be held with Australian champions taking on their Turkish counterparts.

Innovation

Microsoft Gaming Project: This virtual project with take place between Turkish and Australian gamers in partnership with Cer Modern and Microsoft. The Australian and Turkish winners of the competition will receive a free visit to Silicon Valley from Microsoft.

Modern Architecture Workshop: Australian and Turkish architects will participate in a workshop that explores the best technology currently available.

Augmented Australia: Featured at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Augmented Australia is activated with a free app downloaded on smart devices. The catalogue includes hundreds of animations, video interviews and models of the 22 unbuilt projects and features the new Australian pavilion for Venice, designed by architecture Denton Corker Marshall.http://architectureau.com/articles/augmented-australia-app

The Edge (QLD State Library): The Edge will exhibit:

  • Fashion fabricated from kombucha, designed by young and emerging Queensland designers
  • Furniture designed by a young and emerging Queensland designer, grown from Australian mushrooms
  • Carpet designed by The Edge in collaboration with community, fabricated from kombucha and other sustainable textile materials.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555