Protocinema is a cross-cultural art organization that commissions and presents site-aware art around the world. Based in Istanbul and New York, we produce critical installations of the highest artistic quality and accessible to everyone. Protocinema evokes empathy towards understanding of difference across regions though: exhibitions, commissions, public programing and mentorship. Founded in 2011 by Mari Spirito, Protocinema is a nonprofit 501(c)3, free of ‘brick and mortar’, sites vary to respond both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground.


Quality of Expression: We believe that art and public programs should be derived from a long-term research process, address current social concerns, be sensitive to how these affect our personal or political beliefs, be open to counter positions and authentic discourse. We are interested in the intersections of cognition and perception, the processes by which people come to their belief systems, and how those ideologies in turn affect our societies and well-being.

Inclusivity and Accessibility: We strive for all of our projects to be articulated in a way that is readily accessible across culture, age, field, and background; to be free for all; and presented in multiple languages, as budgets allow. 

Integrity: We believe that how something is done is as important as what is done. Whether it is the content of an artwork or its creation and presentation process, we value long-term development of relationships, and the production of considered art, grown over time. We value a “Do less, Better” approach.

Cross Culturalism: Our programs introduce new works to new audiences on an intimate grass-roots level across regions. This requires a dedication on the part of both the artist and the Protocinema team on-site, long-term work within local communities where strong relationships and empathy are built. This is also a part of our educational philosophy, where education is gained through experience and exchange.


Mari Spirito
Executive Director, Curator
+1917 660 7332, +90541 468 02 14

Tansa Mermerci Ekşioğlu 
Head of International Patronage


Ela Persembe
Media & Funding Manager
+90531 923 3778 

Alper Turan
Cultural Manager, Curator
+90506 870 6808, +4917670518587

Abhijan Toto
Co-curator, A Few In Many Places, 2021

Asli Seven
Curator, Protocinema Screening Tour

Board of Trustees:
Defne Ayas, Dillon Cohen, David Howe, Jane Lombard, Ari Meşulam, Jason Heard and Sheldon La Pierre, Ayşe Umur 

International Commissioning Committee:
Haro Cümbüşyan and Bilge Öğüt, Andrew Francis, Yasemin Vargı, The Artisan İstanbul, Adnan Yerebakan 

Protocinema Emerging Curator Mentorship Supporters:
Charlotte Feng Ford, Suzanne Egeran, Three Anonymous Supporters, Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul, Pro Helvetia, The Swiss Arts Council, Switzerland.

Protocinema is a Believer Institution of The Alternative Art School with support from Banu and Hakan Çarmıklı

Advisory Committee:
Stephane Ackermann, Augusto Arbizo, Yona Backer, Elizabeth Baribeau, Ömür Bozkurt, Tamara Corm, Adib Dada, Koray Duman, Anne Ellegood, Reem Fadda, Kate Fowle, Lia Gangitano, James Lingwood, Rose Lord, November Paynter, Tuce Peksayar, Renaud Proch, Yasmil Raymond, Helen Warwick

Protocinema is a legally registered non-profit in the United States with a branch in Turkey.
501(c)(3) EIN Registration number 46-1366509
Copyright 2019 Protocinema, New York, Istanbul, all rights reserved.

Emre Hüner, opening, Protocinema, New York, 2017, coproduced by Platform 0090 and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, courtesy Rodeo, London; photo by Civan Özkanoğlu