Istanbul celebrates culture with free arts festival

Istanbul celebrates culture with free arts festival

Some of the world’s most talented writers, artists, designers, actors and film makers will be packing their bags and heading to Istanbul next week, as the Turkish capital prepares to celebrate the city’s award-winning culture with a free arts festival.

The Istancool festival – hosted by global British diplomacy brand Liberatum – will present a diverse and stimulating programme of art, music, film, literature, fashion, design and philosophy, which will include talks, screenings and performances from some of the biggest names in those fields.

“Istanbul has been a hugely influential and powerful cultural metropolis for thousands of years; an enchanting mega-city connecting two continents and hosting people of all races,” Pablo Ganguli, Liberatum’s founder, tells “It’s a city of hope, a haven for diverse creative pursuits and a fascinating promoter of both traditional values and modern ideas with European Capital of Culture status. Istanbul this year can celebrate its contribution to European culture with pride.”

Audiences can enjoy talks from directors Stephen Frears and Lee Daniels on art house and independent films, take part in a ‘Vogue Presents’ fashion workshop led by renowned designer Kim Jones, listen in on a live talk between Philip Treacy and renowned Turkish artist haluk Akakce on millinery and even attend a fabulous aftershow party hosted by Jefferson Hack and The Misshapes.

Meanwhile, special guests in attendance include design powerhouse Zaha Hadid, model Lily Cole, DJ Leigh Lezark and Waris Ahluwalia. Turkish participants will include Haluk Akakce, Ayse Arman, Muammer Brav, Taner Ceylan, Can Dundar, Serdar Gulgun, Elif Safak and Leyla Umar.

“[Guests at the festival can expect] a combination of surrealism and depth,” Ganguli continues. “You will see iconic cultural leaders sharing artistic passion with enigmatic fashion potentates and one of the world’s most revered architects. From whirling dervishes at midnight to literary debates and classical music concerts on the Bosphporus.”

The festival will run from 2 – 4 July 2010, and is free to the public.

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