fbpx Akış Ka | CIRCA PRIZE 2023

Akış Ka

I’m Akış Ka, a multidisciplinary artist who embraces fluidity in my work. Engaging in songwriting, poetry, DJing, movement and performance work and organising queer events, I create safe spaces for the LGBTIAQ+ community. I express myself through modern dance, acting, modelling, and YouTube content while hosting talk shows. Improvisation is vital to my artistic style, allowing each creation to unfold uniquely.

Approaching art with a multidisciplinary mindset nurtures my creativity. I perceive life through a performative lens, immersing myself in emotions and finding joy in entertaining, provoking thought, and instilling fear. This perspective not only shapes my work but also influences my existence.

My diverse pursuits stem from a desire to bring visibility to myself and fellow queer individuals. Leaving a queer mark on art history drives me, despite limited recognition in my current location. From 2016 to 2019, I actively participated in the Istanbul LGBTIAQ+ Pride Week committee, merging my journey as a queer artist with activism. My art draws strength from focusing on trans rights, existence, body politics, food and eating sociology, and the dynamic relationship I share with my body.

The performance piece “Hoş Geldin” (which means “welcome” in Turkish) delves into my personal struggle as a trans performance artist within art institutions. As a transgender/queer performance artist, we remain unseen within the Turkish art scene; nevertheless, we persist in our pursuit of artistic expression. “Hoş Geldin” delves into our personal struggles, both as individuals and artists. By dismantling the confines of traditional art spaces and societal boundaries, I aim to bring attention to our collective experiences and bodies. Through the collision of my fully make-up body with the walls of the space, I leave visible marks, symbolising my battle for existence. These marks not only depict my struggle but also transform it into a celebration of my presence within an art institution. My objective is to etch the presence of transgender individuals onto the walls of galleries and into the annals of art history.

Our stories, particularly in spaces that were once rightfully ours, deserve to be seen and heard. Our rights were unjustly stripped away, but our ongoing struggle becomes a beacon of hope. This performance represents the resilience and joy of queer existence and liberation, both politically and sexually. It holds immense value as it sheds light on the invisibility of trans resistance and liberation within art history and institutions while showcasing the empowering potential of trans individuals and their bodies to make a lasting impact within these establishments.

As a migrant trans artist, this development funding would be crucial to focus on and develop my ongoing performance practice within the UK. This funding would not only provide financial support but also serve as a platform for amplifying the vital voices of the trans community through my transformative projects.

With the £30k, I would develop my transformative projects that amplify the voices of the trans community. Specifically, these four performances: ‘Who is gonna host me?’, ‘Trans streets and geographies’, and two continuations of the Welcome performance titled ‘Internals’ and ‘Birthday celebration’. These performances would be a testament to the strength and resilience of the trans community, addressing themes like self-discovery, self-expression, and the celebration of life.

A portion of the funding would be allocated to producing high-quality music and video content. This includes recording and releasing original songs that delve into themes such as trans rights, existence, body politics, and the complexities of queer identity.

I recognize the importance of personal and professional growth in my journey. Therefore, a significant portion of the budget would be invested in attending workshops and training sessions conducted by industry experts. These sessions, spanning contemporary dance, movement, and sound production, would equip me with invaluable skills to elevate the quality and innovation of my performances.

I am committed to ensuring that the voices of the trans community in my country are not only heard on a local level but also on a global stage. By collaborating with other artists and organizations, I would actively work to showcase the richness of our stories, struggles, and triumphs on the international art scene.

In Turkish, there is a saying: Hope is the bread of the poor. As transgender individuals who lack the privilege of abundance, hope becomes our sole luxury. It emanates from the depths of our struggles, sustaining us through adversity.