Giving Tuesday
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Dear friend,

Thank you for being part of Protocinema’s community for another exceptional (in every way) year, for your support, and for making all of our work together possible.

 For over ten years, Protocinema has been working across regions, supporting artists and fostering exchange and connection through responsive, context-specific artworks that encourage cross-cultural dialogue. This is necessary now more than ever, and we have been fortunate this year to be working with the preparedness of a model that responds well to periods of instability and uncertainty. 

Between Cultures On Equal Footing
Our purpose is to foster empathy, to support dialogue between cultures on equal footing, and to expand cross-cultural thinking through art and conversation. In 2021, we worked with almost thirty collaborators in Seoul, Bangkok, Istanbul, New York, Santurce, Guatemala City for a new edition of A Few In Many Places*, our new signature exhibition model, a mindfully-local and globally interconnected group show that consists of interventions by artists and curators in their own cities. All of these interventions use sustainable exhibition-making models of reducing exploitation (of natural resources, labor, and knowledge) and consumption (no shipping or flying), maintaining a foot in physical real-life, small and safe get-togethers in each community while utilizing far-reaching digital support structures.

Over the summer and fall, Protocinema Screening Tour brought artists’ videos to the audiences in Nice, Bourges, Tbilisi, Çanakkale, Chios Island, Diyarbakır, Izmir, Skroda, Prizren, Istanbul. Screening Tour 2021, entitled Permanent Spring, Delayed Bloom, curated by Asli Seven, showed works by artists Minia Biabiany, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Emre Hüner, Ahmet Öğüt, Deniz Tortum & Kathryn Hamilton.

Once Upon A Time Inconceivable team, 2021, photo by Ayşe İdil İdil

10 Year Milestone
September this year, we celebrated Protocinema’s 10th-year milestone, with the exhibition Once Upon a Time Inconceivable, bringing together works by Abbas Akhavan, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Banu Cennetoğlu, Ceal Floyer, Gülşah Mursaloğlu, Zeyno Pekünlü, Paul Pfeiffer, Amie Siegel, and Mario García Torres. Coming at a crucial moment of crisis and loss that urges us to rethink all establishments and reevaluate personal, local, and global relationships, the exhibition cross-examined the pair of perception and realization.

Music the words make
In 2021, we produced three ProtoZines, both digital and printed publication programs, composed of commissioned texts responding to and accompanying Protocinema’s exhibitions for A Finger for an Eye, A Few In Many Places 2021, and Once Upon A Time Inconceivable. ProtoZine collaborators include Alper Turan, Collective Rewilding (Sara Garzón, Ameli Klein, and Sabina Oroshi), Erik Bordeleau, Kathryn Hamilton / Deniz Tortum, Zeynep Kayan, Jorge González, Mari Spirito, Lara Fresko Madra.


Next Up
In 2022, Protocinema’s focus will be on examining the long-term effects of forced migration from different perspectives. This winter Protocinema’s Emerging Curators Series exhibition will be curated by Lila Nazemian in New York. Spring 2022 brings Protocinema solo commission with Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, a multi-channel video and sculptural installation entitled What the body remembers, presented on Governors Island, NYC.

Generosity Around the World
While Protocinema is flexible and adaptable, it also relies heavily on the support of its dedicated audiences and patrons today more than ever. As an independent organization that fundraises individually for each and every project, as with many arts organizations all across the world, we depend on contributions in order to continue our new productions and facilitate the work of artists and curators.

This year again, we are taking part in GivingTuesday, which takes place on November 30, 2021. It will be held on the same day in most participating countries in the world as a global network to inspire generosity around the world, with a common mission to build a world where generosity is part of everyday life.

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Please consider making a donation. With Protocinema, every little bit goes a long way! Your donation, of any size, will contribute to helping realize our goal of $50,000, to enable us to continue our critical work next year.

With gratitude and warmth,


Mari Spirito
Executive Director, Curator, Protocinema

Protocinema is a cross-cultural, mission-driven art organization, commissioning and presenting site-aware art in Istanbul, New York, and elsewhere. We produce context-specific projects of the highest artistic quality that are accessible to everyone. Protocinema evokes empathy towards an understanding of difference, across regions through exhibitions, educational public programming, and mentorship. Protocinema maintains long-term relationships with artists nurturing sustained growth. Founded by Mari Spirito in 2011, Protocinema is a registered 501(c)3, free of 'brick and mortar', sites vary to respond both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground.

Protocinema is supported by: FfAI - The Foundation for Arts Initiatives, The Cowles Charitable Trust, New Jersey 601 Artspace, New York; The Artisan Hotel, İstanbul, Ek Biç Ye İç, İstanbul; Consulate of Mexico in Istanbul; EVA International - Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art; SAHA, İstanbul; American Chai Trust, New York; Goethe Institut, Bangkok; Art Council Korea, Seoul; Kingdom of Netherlands, Istanbul; 

Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul and Pro Helvetia, The Swiss Arts Council, Switzerland.

*A Few In Many Places 2021 collaborators include: 
Gahee Park, Gim Ikhyun, Miji Lee, Welcome to Ogasawara (Hyun Woomin, Min Guhong Manufacturing, Park Daham, Yuri An, Yun Choi), Komtouch Dew Napattaloong, Thanart Rasanon, Abhijan Toto, Mari Spirito, Alper Turan, Zeynep Kayan, Kathryn Hamilton, Deniz Tortum, Lila Nazemian, Vartan Avakian, Kristine Khouri, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Embajada, Taller Comunidad La Goyco, Jorge González Santos, Esvin Alarcón Lam, Antonio Pichillá, Camilla Juárez.


Photo: Jorge González, Bateyes del Chibal, May 14-23 Within A Few In Many Places, Santurce, 2021