Here Are Some Ways the Art World Has Come Together to Support Earthquake Relief in Turkey and Syria

Fundraisers have been initiated by Art Dubai and Refik Anadol, among others.

This aerial view shows collapsed buildings during the ongoing rescue operation in Kahramanmaras, the epicentre of the first 7.8-magnitude tremor five days ago, in southeastern Turkey, on February 10, 2023. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images.

With people in Turkey and Syria still reeling from Monday’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, many in the art world have united in support of the relief efforts for the disaster. The death toll has now surpassed 22,000, with close to one million people now in need of food amid freezing temperatures.

Leading the charge was Art Dubai, which on Tuesday announced that 50 percent of online ticket sales from its 2023 edition would benefit victims of the the disaster. The fair runs March 1 through 5.

In New York, proceeds from last night’s benefit screening of the experimental Turkish film Gilgamesh at the e-flux screening room are going to disaster relief in southeastern Turkey, as will sales at the e-flux shop. (The organization had previously launched a benefit campaign last September for the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre in Kyiv, Ukraine.)

The nonprofit Open Space Contemporary is also organizing a fundraising drive, with artworks that are available for purchase in exchange for proof of a donation to one of several aid organizations, such as the British Red Cross.

Anton Vidokle and Pelin Tan, <em>Gilgamesh: She Who Saw the Deep</em> (2022), still.

Anton Vidokle and Pelin Tan, Gilgamesh: She Who Saw the Deep (2022), still.

“We have asked brilliant and generous artists we have worked with and our in our network to help donate a work for the relief,” the organization wrote on Instagram.

So far, the participating artists include Özge Topçu, Jen Nieuwland, Radek Brousil, Jaime Gili, Anna Perach, and Lucia Pizzani, but others are welcome to contribute.

“It is not a race but a marathon as unfortunately the damage is immense,” Open Space founder Huma Kabakci told the Art Newspaper.

Efforts also extend into the web3 art space, where Refik Anadol, whose solo showUnsupervised” is at New York’s Museum of Modern Art through March 5, launched a crypto fundraiser on Twitter.

“This funds will help so much for people under massive challenges in the most cold days,” he wrote. “Hope we can gather together a strong support in web3 community!”

Joining forces with three other wallets, Anadol—who also enjoyed a star turn at the Grammy’s over the weekend—has already helped raise $4.49 million in relief funds to date, according to the artist’s Twitter.


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