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23 · 09 · 2020

115 female visual artists leave their mark on the streets of Istanbul

In collaboration with the Danish visual artist, Hanne Lise Thomsen, and the Turkish design and communication platform IN-BETWEEN, the Danish Cultural Institute brings the streetart project BILLBOARD ISTANBUL 2020 to Turkey. Here, 115 female visual artists take over Istanbul’s billboards with new photographic works of art that focus on gender, urban space and identity.


Billboard Street Art 2020 is a two-week long photographic art exhibition, which takes place in the metropolitan city of Istanbul. Turkish, Moroccan and Nordic female contemporary artists, as well as selected female students from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in Istanbul, will have their works exhibited on the large billboards scattered all across Istanbul. The BILLBOARD-project was created by the Danish visual artist Hanne Lise Thomsen and took place for the very first time back in 2003, in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden. Since then, the project has been brought to Ramallah, Palestine and Casablanca, Morocco – and now, Istanbul, Turkey.

"I consider the gathering and exhibition of photographic art works from 115 women - all of which come from different cultural backgrounds, ages, etc. - in the public spaces to be an extremely powerful statement, as this very action in fact results in the spread of contemporary art to a wider audience."
Hanne Lise Thomsen, visual artist and founder of the Billboard-project
Photocredit: Arzu Yayintas (TR)


The cityscape of Istanbul will change for lots of citizens from October 5th – 18th. Why is that? Because instead of merely displaying the everyday advertisements for food, clothes or beauty products, the citizens will also encounter photographic works of art with strong and touching, yet subtle motifs. Motifs that all seek to examine gender, the urban space and identity.

Photocredit: Hilde Honerud, Norway


The intention of the project is for the international collection of works to reach out, intervene and take part in the everyday cityscape, thus catalysing the social dialogue on gender and equality – both among the individual viewers as well as across society and borders. The event will officially be opened with formal receptions in both Copenhagen and Istanbul on October 6th.


The project is supported by the Danish Art Foundation’s Project Committee, the Nordic Culture fund, DID (The Danish Institute in Damascus), Grosserer L. F. Foghts Fond, Ernst B. Sund Fonden, the International Culture Panel (IKP), Ministry of Culture of Denmark (KUM), Ministry of Foreign Affair of Denmark (UM) and The Danish Embassy in Turkey.



Do you want to know more about the BILLBOARD-project in Istanbul?

Then you can visit the project’s website right here and follow the Danish Cultural Institute’s activities in Turkey on Facebook and Instagram


Headerphoto credit: Hanne Lise Thomsen, visual artist and founder of the Billboard-project, location: Istanbul (Sketch)