Aydin Sillier, manager of Bimeras organization and programmer of iDance festival from Istanbul, was a resident in Lokomotiva, Macedonia during the event Nomad Dance Advocates, organized by Lokomotiva and Nomad Dance Academy and LocoMotion festival for contemporary dance and performance. The event in Skopje “Nomad Dance Advocates” was aiming to present pathways and understanding of partnership between art makers and policy makers, art making and decision-making, of the genuine collaborative work. In other words, it was an event that strived to advocate for arts and culture through direct involvement with the decision-makers in order to cross the dominating gaps and abysses.


Aydin Sillier was proactively involved in the event, where he participated with presenting the contemporary dance scene in Istanbul, the potentials and needs and the policies.  

He participated in all groups, where he was involved in planning and writing documents for communication, and future actions to be developed. Besides this, he had an opportunity to meet artists and decision makers from Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Albania, Hungary and France.

report by Aydin Sillier

Nomad Dance Academy is a bottom-up platform created in 2005 as an attempt of artists and cultural workers from several Balkan countries to establish the space for real and progressive exchange and collaboration in post-conflict, traumatized and disoriented societies of the Balkans. Our genuine need to work together, collaborate and overcome borders, physical, political and psychological, that had oppressed the field of contemporary arts and culture in this Region, was the motor to create the unique model of regional cultural collaboration.


After 7 years of building sustainable collaborations, developing new models and policies for education, organization and promotion of contemporary performing arts and dance in the Balkans, Nomad Dance Academy is the proof that contemporary dance is the manifestation of democratization processes in the Balkan societies and that it has great capacities for their further development.


Since its beginning, Nomad Dance Academy has been rethinking its role as a network trying to be awake and responsive to the changes in its environment. This network and  platform, as regional, constant growing and learning structure, aspires to continue connecting various actors around a shared discourse and to articulate the needs relevant for the context of the Balkan region and its neighborhood. Additionally NDA aspires for development of new capacities in order to become more visible interlocutor, an advocate for the needs of the sector.


It became obvious that not only this network but more broadly the members of the contemporary art and culture community in the Region have restricted possibilities to exchange knowledge and practices on structured advocacy actions as well as on raising public awareness activities as important tools for participation in public policies and other relevant democratic processes in society. 


During 2012 NDA team created an initiative called Nomad Dance Advocates which engaged NDA members (from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia), our colleagues from the neighboring countries (Albania, Austria,  Hungary), as well as various people of influence and decision-makers from around Europe and from the European Commission. This initiative was meant to be a platform for learning where the existing experiences in advocacy would be shared and upgraded in the specific South East European context. We gave our selves the task to engage with the politicians and decision-makers and establish a permanent dialogue with them. But, we also wanted to create a safe place for the latter to meet and exchange in a way that is distant from usual protocol conditions.


The event in Skopje “Nomad dance Advocates” took place on 8th and 9th November 2012 in the frame of the Locomotion Festival for contemporary performing arts. It was meant to present pathways and understanding of partnership between art makers and policy makers, art making and decision-making, of the genuine collaborative work. We are convinced that the mechanisms and working principles of collaboration determine the success of shifting in trends. The gathering we created intended to convey two important messages to the participants and the wider community in the region:


//Contemporary dance is one of the most vibrant and challenging arts fields in the Balkans and contributes to the recognition of the Balkan contemporary performing arts around the world. Basic conditions and long term support are lacking and we risk losing our most talented artists to countries offering better opportunities.

We need your partnership to maintain this dynamic sector and to make this Region a leader on the European scene.

// We as the Balkan platform call on you to strongly support cultural collaboration and exchange in the Balkans by increasing the support to contemporary dance projects in your local, regional and national project budgets. In this way we will all contribute to strengthening of democratic, participative and open societies in our common region and invest in the long-term development of our social and cultural capital.


The Skopje event gathered artists, cultural workers, and several decision-makers who spent the time together experiencing arts, discussing policies, getting to know each other better and understanding the importance of mutual collaboration. Lokomotiva as a host of Nomad Dance Academy succeeded in setting up the environment which presented many issues and questions that stand behind the art work and are often hidden from the politicians and decision-makers – all the doubts, obstacles, pressure, expectations, personal stories.... But in the same time, it managed to drag the guests in passion and love that drive this collaborative work and to show case solidarity, openness, thirst for knowledge and criticality.


As part of the Jardin d’Europe activity Wild Card, Lokomotiva hosted Aydin Sillier from Bimeras Foundation from Turkey, who contributed to the meeting on the organization level, as well as through participation representing the Turkish cultural policies situation and circumstances in which contemporary dance is developed. His contribution gives an additional value to the event since participants could note and learned differences of a specific cultural model. Additionally, he is interested to collaborate on the development of the advocacy platform through NDA in Turkey.


Nomad Dance Advocates will continue its work after this with more ideas, new energy and new proposals which play with joint work of politicians, decision-makers and administrators and artists. One example was presented in Skopje by the Austrian artists Amanda Pina and Daniel Zimmermann in their project Ministry for Movement realized in collaboration with Mr. Meinhard Rauchensteiner, advisor for science, culture and arts of the President of the Republic of Austria (www.bmfb.at )


More to read www.nomaddanceacademy.org



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