Since its start in 2006, Sinopale has embraced the local culture and collective memory as its subject matter; engaging the citizens with an international artistic event through collaborative production; exhibiting not only the products of collective work but also the suggestion of an alternative economic model. Sinopale has become a space to meet, reflect and create for local and foreign artists, curators and the people of Sinop.  

Both the biennials in seven editions and the projects realized in between the biennials have produced invaluable information and works for the sustainable development of the city, generating a cultural accumulation. It is of great importance that the artefacts and their processes are archived and made available for public access. This way, these artworks can be marked also in the memory of the city, contributing to the current cultural production and the blooming of the city. In the Sinopale Forum which was held both in Istanbul and in Sinop in 2017, a proposal was made that this should be one of the new functions of Sinop Historical Prison, and the importance of the archive was emphasized. 

The proposal for a physical archive will need time to be endorsed and executed. However, Sinopale Team took this need for a space to accumulate memories as the framework of Sinopale 8 and started compiling the archive digitally. Curators from past biennials were invited to develop projects responding to this framework and digging into the archive. Sinopale 8’s website hosts these projects and the events related to them.


Sinop Sustainable Development Association

Funders and Supporters: 

Funded by the international Relief Fund for Organizations in Culture and Education 2021 of the German Federal Office, the Goethe -Institut and other partners:

SAHA Association,  Austrian Cultural Forum, Pro Helvetia

with the contribution of Sinop Municipality, Haber Atölyesi and

Conceptual Framework: “Upcycling” 

As the pandemic period has changed the pace and living conditions of most of us radically, it provided many of us with the possibility to dig our lives deeper and reflect on ourselves. Losing our physical access to an abundance of things, revealed that not only the consumption rate but also the pace of production is simply unsustainable. It has become essential to utilise the resources we have more efficiently and to engage in an “upcycling” focus.  

“Upcycling” in its common use, refers to creative reuse of old or waste materials by transforming  them into a new product that is of higher value and/or of higher environmental value. Sinopale 8  takes the concept of “upcycling” in an ‘abstract’ form.  

Art breeds values and contributes to the production of culture; to realize this it must be reflected upon and interpreted by society. Yet, today, art seems to keep pace with the craze of production and consumption. In the course of biennials,  while artworks are produced one after another, the need elevates to spare the time to reflect on the meanings they add to our lives. Sinopale questions itself in this context and constructs a self reflection.  

In response to this, Sinopale 8 focuses on the artistic works in its archive on the internet. It aims to shed light on the artworks that most of the artists have realized with the people of Sinop in all these years, or what they find inspirational in nature and the culture of the locality,  and to evaluate these works in their relationship with today.  

In order not to get caught in a flow where ideas and works of art are objectified and consumed like everything else, Sinopale 8 proposes to use past productions of art and experiences in the construction of the “new normal”; and suggests listening to what these ideas will tell us about what we should do differently about the future. Sinopale 8 sees development not in a vertical line, but as a path that expands with cycles and participation.

Framework Text: Nil İlkbaşaran, Mahir Namur, Serra Tansel, Yusuf Emre Yalçın

Organizing Team: Cansu Kırcan, Çağatay Şimşek, Çağla Çakır, Erkan Akliman, Ezgi Selin Ülkü, Güngör Erdem, İpek Hamzaoğlu, Mahir Namur, Mercan Uludağ, Mert Karaçıkay, Mustafa Bal, Nil İlkbaşaran, Lara Baksu, Serra Tansel,  Selin Özcan, Seyit Şen, Sine İçli, T. Melih Görgün, Tülay Haspulat, Yağmur Güzle, Yiğit Bahadır Kaya, Yusuf Emre Yalçın.

Graphic/Website Design: Aygen İncel, Mustafa Kurt, Umut Südüak, Gün Yücel

Press Relations/Social Media: Yiğit Bahadır Kaya, Selin Özcan

Legal Advisor: Nil Gözübüyük, Çağatay Şimşek

Translator: Çiğdem Girgiç, Aysu Polat, Lara Baksu, Nil İlkbaşaran, Serra Tansel

Opening Film: Yusuf Emre Yalçın, Burcu Akbaba, İpek Hamzaoğlu, Ezgi Selin Ülkü, Yiğit Bahadır Kaya, Mahir Namur, Nil İlkbaşaran

Curators / Projects:

Beral Madra (Turkey), Emre Zeytinoğlu (Turkey), Işın Önol (Austria) – Livia Alexander (U.S.A.), Jonatan Habib Engqvist (Sweden),
Mürteza Fidan (Turkey), Rana Öztürk (Turkey), T. Melih Görgün (Turkey),
Lars Ebert (The Netherlands), Nil İlkbaşaran (The Netherlands), Mahir Namur (Austria)


Adrien Tirtiaux, Alparslan Baloğlu, Alvaro Campo, Anne Metzen, Ashley Hunt, Aylin Çakıner, Bella Rune, Berglind Jona Hlynsdottir, Burçak Konukman, Dejan Kaluderovic, Emre Koyuncuoğlu, Eric van Hove, Eşref Yıldırım, Evrim Kavcar, Hayırlı Evlat, Hülya Karakaş, İpek Hamzaoğlu, Johanna Reiner & Johannes Hoffman, Johannes Vogl, Julie Upmeyer, Maria Lantz, Maurice Boagert, Mehtap Baydu, Monali Meher, Müride Aksan, Nezaket Ekici, Nil İlkbaşaran & Güngör Erdem, Raluca Popa, Ronan McCrea, Riikka Tauriainen, Sümer Sayın,  T. Melih Görgün, Ulrika Mohr, Yusuf Emre Yalçın

What is Sinopale? 

Sinopale International Sinop Biennial is a culture-oriented international public event encouraging  participation, collective production of thought and action through contemporary art. It is organized  in cooperation with many local, national and international individuals, institutions and organizations  under the coordination of Sinop Sustainable Development Association, which aims to contribute to  the development of the city.  

The event, which is held every two years, aims to work at urban, national and international levels in  order to re-perceive their own living spaces, reflect on urban problems, share historical memory, and  create a better living space.  

Sinopale’s main idea develops from the bottom up; The production that emerges from the dialogue it  establishes between local and international contributes to the local culture on the one hand, and to  the world culture on the other.  

How is Sinopale realised? 

Sinopale begins with the collaboration of curators from different countries on the conceptual  framework and program. Curators take part in all stages of content creation, fundraising,  preparation and production. This pluralistic approach allows for the realization of decision-making  processes with a pluralistic common mind approach, as well as sharing responsibilities.  

In order to realize the event, all infrastructure and organization works are carried out by Sinop  residents in Sinop. Sinop Sustainable Development Association, which consists of volunteers from  Sinop, undertakes the responsibility of mobilizing and coordinating individuals and institutions that  will contribute in different ways.  

Hosted artists, from Turkey and abroad produce “participatory artworks” about Sinop during their  stay in Sinop together with the people from the city. At the end of the production process, the works  are exhibited in different cultural venues or public spaces of Sinop. Parallel to the production and  exhibition process of the artists, many activities such as “Sinopale Kids”, “Sinopale Academy”,  “Sinopale Forum”, “Sinopale Film” are taking place.  

Throughout the process, a newspaper called “Synopsis” is published in order to support the  dialogue between the artists and the people of Sinop.  

Sinopale distinguishes itself from its counterparts globally as a collaborative event both in terms  of event organization and also art production. Sinopale also serves the purpose of  sustainable urban development and it triggers the collective thinking, decision-making and  implementation process in order to increase the quality of life in the city by bringing people and  institutions together from different disciplines and different sectors. With these features, Sinopale  has a distinguished position in the international platform.  

Previous Sinopale publications are still in the archives of different museums, artists, cultural figures,  art centers and NGOs working in the field of culture and arts in different countries such as Austria,  Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Georgia, Hungary,  Italy, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia,  Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and USA.