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Leman Yilmaz – Turkey / ExCom Candidacy

I was born in İstanbul. I graduated from Galatasaray High School (French-based education) and I worked for different social clubs (dance, theatre, and sport); after that, I did my license education at Bosphorus University (English-based education). I graduated from the Sociology department and then I did my MA in social history. My MA thesis is about the Dance History in Turkey as a Socialization Process. It is the first research on this subject. I did my PhD on dramaturgy and critics in Theatre. 

I worked in newspapers and I realized many interviews with foreign artists and companies came to İstanbul. I moved to the French Institute to work as the assistant director. During my work at the French Institute, I had the chance to participate the European culture meetings for the first time and we realized many hybrid projects on dance, theatre, and visual art with my French director.

In 2003, I accepted to work as an intern at Theatre Vidy – Lausanne. I came back to Turkey after one month of work at the theatre.  Then Mr. René Gonzales proposed that I work with Heiner Goebbels as his assistant for the performance of “Eraritjaritjaka”. After the presentations of the performance, I stayed two more months to complete the yearly book of the theatre. I began to work for İstanbul Theatre Festival as assistant director between 2005-2012 and as artistic director between 2012-2022. I left the festival on the 4th of February 2022; I began to work with a venue DasDas. I created a new brand of international festival: IO International Theatre Festival.

So during all those years, I travelled a lot (in Europe, Northern Europe, the USA, the UK, Canada, China, and Russia) I participated in many meetings, European Culture projects, showcase programs, and festivals and I worked also as a jury member for important festivals like Boska Comedia / Krakow (https://wydarzenia.interia.pl/raporty/raport-boska-komedia-2013), Tehran Fajr Festival (https://irannewsdaily.com/2018/01/curtains-go-fajr-theater-festival/), Dutch Dance Festival (Nederlandse Dansdagen -2014)

I have been a member of IETM, Teatroskop, and ISPA networks for many years.  

I am also an associate professor on “Management of Performing Arts”. I worked in different universities in İstanbul and currently, I am teaching at Bilgi University. I try to give all the details and updates to my students about performing arts in Turkey and abroad. I am also writing for some newspapers but not regularly. I created an interview program “Backstage” for a YouTube channel Reportare.