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berlinerförderp rogramm künstle rischeforschung


Knowledge Ties #8: Dancing home. Istanbul
with Anna-Maria Aslanoglu, Elena Kakaliagou, Berke Can Özcan, Didem Pekün & Mihran Tomasyan *moderated by Philip Rizk

Dienstag, 21. November 2023 | 20.00


20.00 Music by Elena Kakaliagou (French horn) + Berke Can Özcan (drums + objects)  

20.15 Introduction by Rike Frank 

20.30 Conversation between Didem Pekün, Mihran Tomasyan and Anna Maria Aslanoglu *moderated by Philip Rizk (in English)

21.00 Screening of an excerpt from the film Dancing home. Istanbul 

21.15 Performance by Mihran Tomasyan with music by Elena Kakaliagou and Berke Can Özcan 

21.45 Closing conversation between Elena Kakaliagou, Berke Can Özcan and Didem Pekün *moderated by Philip Rizk 

22.00 Q&A with all the artists 


This special evening brings together elements of a film in the making. Its lead character (Mihran Tomasyan), the composers (Elena Kakaliagou and Berke Can Özcan), the producer (Anna Maria Aslanoğlu) and the director (Didem Pekün) join for a performative night of music, dance and discussion as well as a sneak peak of the film itself.

Dancing Home. Istanbul is a performative documentary that focuses on the question of “home” in Istanbul – a city that sits on a fault line, geographically as well as metaphorically, with the weight of the past, and a present marked by political, social, economic and ecological strife. The film explores the idea through the portrait of the dancer/choreographer Mihran Tomasyan who is a pillar of the Istanbul cultural scene. Mihran  co-founded Çıplak Ayaklar Kumpanyası – a dance company and studio that has been existing in Istanbul’s Tophane neighborhood for 17 years. The audience has a unique view of the city life in Istanbul through accompanying Mihran in passing the different collectives he is part of.

The event thus explores what it means to produce, work, love and live in today’s Istanbul, and on the faultlines of our history. 

*The night is moderated by Philip Rizk, a film-maker and fellow of the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme, as a continuation of an ongoing conversation with Didem Pekün about their respective home cities: Cairo and Istanbul.


Anna-Maria Aslanoglu / born and grew up in Istanbul. Graduated in Political sciences and History. Founding member of istos film & publishing, which was established in 2012 to produce films, publish books, and organize cultural events. Focused on producing independent cinema in Turkey and internationally, but also on production services and production consultancies. – 

Berke Can Özcan / Musician, performing artist, and producer born and based in Istanbul. Founded the record label titled “Who Are We Who We Are”.  Some of the bands/projects he has formed, recorded and toured with are 123 (, Big Beats Big Times (, Tamburada, DANdadaDAN, Arve Henriksen, Jonah Parzen-Johnson. – 

Didem Pekün / born 1978 in Istanbul, is an artist-filmmaker and academic based in Berlin and Istanbul. Her films tackle questions of political violence, displacement and their myriad intersections. Recently, her practice turned from ‘history’ focus to ‘future’ as explored in her current film in progress. Currently, she is a fellow of the Berlin Artistic Research Program. – 

Elena Kakaliagou / is a french horn player, living in Berlin since 2010 and dealing with new, free improvised, experimental music and interdisciplinary fields. – 

Mihran Tomasyan / born 1980 in Istanbul, started dancing with folkloric dances. He studied in the Modern Dance Department at Mimar Sinan Academy Istanbul (1997-2001), and at Centre National de Danse Contemporain (2001-2002 – France). He performed with Aydın Teker (2001-İstanbul), Rebecca Lazier (USA), Cie Cre-Ange (France), Cie Da Motus (Suisse), Cie Yma (France). Since 2003 he continues to work as a dancer, instructor, studio manager, choreograph and producer in Çıplak Ayaklar Kumpanyası. – 

Philip Rizk / is a film-maker and artist from Cairo living in Berlin. In his films he experiments with methods of performance, found footage and montage with the aim of “making the habitual strange.” A question that runs throughout Rizk’s projects is, “how do we prepare ourselves for what is to come?” Currently, he is a fellow at the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme. – 


Tickets here

Knowledge Ties is a series of film screenings and conversations with fellows and guests, conceived by the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme in collaboration with SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA.

Lindower Str. 20/22, Haus C
13347 Berlin