Global Development Opportunities for Leaders Working in Arts, Screen, and Creative Sectors

Marianne Maxwell – Mothership

ICE fellow Marianne Maxwell is currently on his placement in Turkey. She has set up a blog, which you can follow here. This is a post she wrote on the 11th August, following a meeting with an Istanbul-based theatre company called Dot.

My meeting is in a part of town I’ve not been to yet which means a trip on the Metro. It’s a big holiday day today which means the perfect time for an inaugural journey on a new transport system. It’s all very straight forward and I pop up above ground ‘downtown’ Istanbul. I’m right in among the skyscrapers we’ve only seen from a distance. I’m heading for the Kanyon Shopping centre. I foolishly enter one massive mall assuming ‘this must be it’. I go through security (yup) and then realise it’s not the right one. Aye, the one I’m looking for is next door. I had heard this town was a little obsessed with shopping malls and I’m beginning to see that in action.

I spot the Harvey Nicols, M&S and Gap signs and with a slightly sunken heart make my way down into the belly of what appears to be Battlestar Galactica inspired architecture or maybe Battlestar Galatasary? Either way the material Mothership has landed.

istanbulMall

I’m here to meet Dot again for a follow up to last week. We sit for a few hours talking about everything, hatching some plans, thinking big. It’s very cool and I enjoy it enormously. At points I get that brilliant feeling of excitement when you know you are part of a really good idea. My eyes wide and ideas popping away. What’s even better than that is the fact that every so often – about four or five times – whole families come up to the table and ask Murat for a photo. I knew that he was an actor who had set up a theatre company but I didn’t know he was an ‘actor’. I love that shit.

Another interesting thing, for me at least, is that I don’t mention the words ‘marketing’ or ‘audience development’ once. I tell them my new found intention of wanting to push myself and be ambitious and they grab that idea. It feels like they trust me and we make some firmish plans to get started when they return from, of all places, Edinburgh.

Five Things I felt around 5pm today

1. Lit up with excitement at a project that I think sounds ace and full of potential and that I want to get involved in.

2. Proud of myself that I am girl about town, having meetings in downtown Istanbul, no tother a ba’.

3. Shocked at the realisation that now, when I’m blethering on about twitter and streaming and all my usual blah blah global potential of theatre, there is a very real possibility of state involvement, prosecution and vigilante violent retaliation. The story about the case that is currently underway truly shocks me. I wonder out loud if I am naive even to start making plans in this direction. Not naive, I am reassured, but it’s something very real to take into consideration.

4. Half impressed half aghast at the scale of the malls. For almost three weeks all I have had is the differences between this city and what I am used to at home. Where we live and where we have been here are completely new to us, in every way. Today what I see is far too familiar. In it’s favour at least the malls are open air.

5. Happy to have made the move from a one scoop cone to a two scoop tub to see me into a rather pleasant, chocolatey Saturday evening.



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