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Canakkale Biennial Initiative (CABININ) is a Canakkale-based nonprofit initiative formed by cooperation of collaborators from various fields and occupations. As a platform for producing artistic and cultural ideas and events, CABININ organizes and supports national as well as international events, in particular, Canakkale Biennial, based upon social benefits and responsibility.

CABININ, a local non-governmental organization, due to its area of interest, focuses its activities primarily on contemporary art and has affected the art and culture scene in Canakkale with an incresing momentum for more than ten years. Over the years, participation in and support of the large and inclusive national and international activities and events by CABININ have increased as a result of enhanced involvement and interest of the local populace. Biennial, exhibitions, seminars, symposiums, and performances have all been planned and produced through a sustainable systematic understanding of the principle of volunteerism. Within these projects interdisciplinary art workshops have also been planned and organized simultaneously in order to target different groups and to be in contact with each and every layer of society.

The international exhibitions, “The Past Time Dreams (2006)”, which was organized by CABININ and based on dealing with present issues by making reference to the past, and “Borderline (2007)”, which was dealing with present-day reality based on Turkey’s and specifically Canakkale’s current situation and position, have both established the physical as well as the mental basis for Canakkale Biennial. Begining with and ever since the 1st Canakkale Biennial (2008), all of the conceptual frameworks have been chosen to be based on a foundation that oversees, examines and criticizes social problems relating to our country, region and the world through works of art.

The 2nd Canakkale Biennial’s conceptual framework in 2010 explored “The New World Order” that had not yet manifested itself. It was prior to the time in which “The Arab Spring” started in Tahrir Square and spread through the Middle East and before the rebellious movement that was inspired by Stéphane Hessel’s “Time for Outrage!” manifestation spread to the whole world through Europe. However, the clues for a new world order getting ready to reshape itself towards a new construction were already being sensed. In 2012, art works that were then scrutinizing, resolving and criticizing social, political and economical phenomena of a worldwide restlessness as well as current ambiguity of new power dynamics centered especially in the Mediterranean area within the dialectics of contemporary art, were gathered in the 3rd International Canakkale Biennial.

Since the first event, the conceptual structures mentioned above were aimed at integrating contemporary art into everyday lives of citizens and creating an environment where art is a platform for democratic debates through its unique language. Event locations, such as Er Bath, Old Armenian Church, Old Tobacco Depot (recently named as Korfmann Library), abandoned buildings in Fevzipaşa district, Canakkale Waterfront, Marina, various public and private properties, the Old Coach Station, Public Gardens and some governmental buildings, have been chosen carefully to seamlessly integrate the activities into the city’s everyday landscape. In order to increase creativity and participation of underrepresented members of the community, artistic and cultural events have been developed focusing on various groups and topics, such as children, teenagers, adults, people with disablilities and gender identity issues.

Dialogue and collobaration have been cultivated to maintain the support and participation of local authorities, non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector.

So far CABININ has positioned the Canakkale Biennial as a signature event impacting art and culture scenes at the national and international levels. From the very first day onwards, CABININ kept contemporary art at the center, brought differentiated and fragmented parts of the society toghether, operated on principles of volunteerism, and sustained a systematic and collaborative approach to art and social issues.

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