/  ABOUT.

Döne Otyam
Graduated form Tevfik Fikret High School and Hacettepe University, Faculty of Literature’s French Language and Literature Department. Continued her studies with art courses at Bilkent and Hacettepe Universities. Took up administrative positions in several art galleries, and organized exhibitions. Founded Abitus Art Projects and Zon Gallery. Produced and directed art programmes on certain TV corporations. Held interviews on art in newspapers and magazines. Among the exhibitions curated by Otyam are: ‘’Sudaki Suret’’ (“Image on the Water”) at Istanbul’da Dolmabahçe Culture Center, ‘’Buradan Çok Uzakta’’ (“Far Away From Here”) at Ankara Train Station and Istanbul Haydarpasa Train Station, and ‘’Davetinizi Aldim Tesekkürler’’ (“I Receive Your Invitation,Thank You”) in Mardin. Döne Otyam who was also the curator of the 1st Mardin Biennial currently works as art consultant.

Paolo Colombo
As of 2008 works as art consultant at Istanbul Modern. In 1999 he curated the 6th Istanbul Biennial and in 2011, he was among the curators of the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennial. Between 2001 and 2007, Paolo Colombo who was the curator of the 21st Century Museum of National Arts (Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo) in Rome. Between 1989 and 2000, Colombo became the director of the Geneva Contemporary Art Center (Centre d’art contemporain) and curated the 2012 Mardin Biennial. He has also assumed co-production of various prize winning films.

Firat Arapoglu
Firat Arapoglu works as an art historian, critic and independent curator in Istanbul. He is a faculty member at Altinbas University, Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. He curated many exhibitions in Turkey and abroad, amongst the co-curator of the 3rd and 4th International Mardin Biennial. He presented articles on art and art education at international symposiums. From 2018-2020 he upheld the presidency of the International Association of Art Critics AICA-Turkey.

Aysegül Sönmez
Born in Istanbul in 1975, she is an independent art critic, journalist and lecturer. Graduated from the Istanbul University, Faculty of Italian Language and Literature. Took comparative art history courses at the History of Art Department of Siena University. She completed her MA at Marmara University Fine Arts Faculty, Painting Department (MÜGSF), with a thesis on Modern Despite Modernism. Currently she is continuing her PhD in the same department. As of 1993 she wrote articles in monthly periodicals such as Negatif and Kim and as 1997 she worked as a correspondent and coloumnist in the daily Milliyet. She is currently writing articles in the daily Radikal. She curated events such as: 15 artist present their favorite records/Mine Art Gallery (2005), Crippled Literature and Accomplices/Tüyap Book Fair (2006), and Mario Rizzi Projection of Complete Works/ 29th Istanbul Film Festival (2010). In 2008 she became the editor of contemporary art publications at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2009 Turkey presidency of AICA- Association of International Critics of Art. In 2010 she took part as member of the jury at the Kyoto Art and Philosophy Prizes. She initiated a formation entitled A Festival by Women on their Own, and she is actively taking part in women’s rights and organizes feminist art events. The artist published an experimental exhibition book entitled Unjust Provocation, and her articles appear in various international publications and books. She attends, on a regular basis, panel discussions and live talk shows at Akbank Art and GarajIstanbul, and is a lecturer at Fine Arts Faculty of Okan University.

Hakan Irmak
Born in Mardin in 1982, Hakan Irmak earned a Bachelor’s degree in Graphics Design from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Atatürk University in 2006. He is now the founder and head of the advertisement agency operating in Mardin, named Çivi Creative Ideas, and one of the founding partners of Abitus Art Projects based in Istanbul. He has been the creative director of many festivals, contemporary art exhibitions, and publications of museums, art institutions and artist books. He worked as a design expert in EU projects carried out in the field of art and tourism in Turkey. His works were exhibited at the 1st and 2nd Mardin Biennial. He was the visual director and coordinator of the Mardin Biennial between 2010 and 2018, and has been the co-director together with Döne Otyam since 2018. In addition to being a founding member of the Mardin Cinema Association and serving as the general secretary of the association, he is also a board member of the International Design Foundation. He continues his work in Mardin and Istanbul.

Representing Mardin Cinema Association

Mehmet Hadi Baran
Born in Mrdin in 1964, he completed his education from primary school to high school in Mardin. For many years, he worked as Culrural and Social Affairs Director at the Mardin Municipality. In 2006 he was the general coordinator and organizer of the Mardin Film Festival. He was among the founding members of the Mardin Cinema Association and as of 2010 he is its president. He assumed the roleof coordinator for the 1st and 2nd Mardin biennials. More recently, Baran held the position of Deputy Mayor of Artuklu for three years. He is amember of the advisory committee of the 3rd and 4th Mardin biennials.

Mehmet Sait Tunç
Born in Mardin in 1964 Mardin, he studied Business Management and Sociology. He was among the founding members of the Mardin Cinema Association of which he is currently vice president. Tunç is a member of the board of directors of the Izmir based International Union of Activist Artists. He conducted 128 verbal archivial work on history in Mardin and its provinces. He was co-director with Ugras Salman of the documentary film entitled “Tell Me,Tattoos, Laments, Stories” which was included by cinema authorities in the catalogue promoting Turkish cinema at the 65th Cannes Film Festival of 2012. The film was projected at the 2nd Rome Film Festival, the Istanbul Film Festivali, and at the Izmir Short Film Festival along with its projection in many other provinces in Turkey. He was the event coordinator of Mardin Film Festival for quite some time and two of his works were included in the 3rd Mardin Biennial. In 2013, along with Uysal Yenipinar he published a book entitled “Traditional Art of Tattoo in Southeast Anatolia, Body Inscriptions”.