Tuesday 11 February 2020 - 13:30

Initiated for the first time in 2017, we have created the ‘Museum without Walls’ digital arts platform; an exhibition experience independent of time and space. The fourth exhibition of the platform entitled ‘Almost There’ will be launched with an event at the Pera Museum on Tuesday, 11 February. You can register for the event or watch it live through exhibition website, Facebook and Youtube channels.

There will be English-Turkish simultaneous and Turkish sign language translation during the event.

The exhibition

Almost There: A digital exhibition with artworks from British Council Collection as well as Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine

Curated by Teona Burkiashvili, Tatiana Kochubinska, Seyhan Musaoğlu

The exhibition is divided into three chapters which the viewer moves through in a circular journey. Throwing light on our lives today and what it means to be human, it provides an insight into the contemporary human condition by reflecting our physical displacements and movements in the mind that arise when politics and emotions collide.


Öykü Aras, Terry Atkinson, Luna Ece Bal, İrakli Bugiani, Vajiko Chachkhiani, Marc Chaimowicz, Bernard Cohen, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, Suki Dhanda, Jimmie Durham, Tracy Emin, Yaroslav Futymsky, Leyla Gediz&İnci Furni, Tamar Giorgadze,,Oleg Golosiy, Oli Golub, Natela Grigalashvili, Richard Hamilton, Mona Hatoum, Rita Khachaturiani, Ansel Krut, Sasha Kurmaz, Valery Lamakh, Langlands&Bell, Richard Long, Gareth Mcconnell, Paul Nash, Maia Naveriani, Cornelia Parker, Ceren Saner, Dmytro Starusiev, John Stezaker, Ali Emir Tapan, Ayça Telgeren, Anna Zvyagintseva

The conference

13.30-14.00 Registration

14.00-14.10 Opening speech – Cherry Gough, British Council Director Turkey

14.15-14.45 Panel: Almost There 

Moderator: Claire De Braekeleer, Director Arts Wider Europe, British Council

Speakers: Teona Burkiashvili, Tatiana Kochubinska, Seyhan Musaoğlu

Moderated by Claire De Braekeleer, in this panel the curators will present their Museum without Walls exhibition concept, how they tackled the challenge of working collaboratively for a digital exhibition, what steps were taken to be more accessible and what they learned in the process.

14.45-15.00 Break

15.00-16.00 Panel: Increasing Arts Access through the Digital 

Moderator: Su Başbuğu, Arts Manager, British Council

Speakers: Victoria Ivanova, Serpentine Gallery Research and Development Platform (UK), Lera Polyanskova, Shukhliada Digital Arts Space (Ukraine), Khatia Tchokhonelidze, In Between Conditions (Georgia) 

The discussion will focus on how arts institutions are using digital to increase access both through their online presence and to their physical spaces, with examples from Georgia, Ukraine and the UK. They will discuss the intersection between art, digital and physical space for audience experience, and the role of technology and environmental concerns.

16.00-16.15 Break

16.15-17.00 Keynote: Making the Creative Case for Inclusion and Access  

Speaker: Abid Hussein, Director Diversity, Arts Council England.

Moderator: Su Başbuğu

Abid Hussain will present how Arts Council England is working towards developing a more inclusive and accessible arts and cultural ecology in England sharing examples of policy and funding interventions including the organisation’s new ten year strategy for 2020-30. 

Biographies of speakers

Claire de Braekeleer is Director Arts, Wider Europe for the British Council, based in Istanbul. She leads the strategic direction of an arts programme across 15 countries in Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and the Western Balkans. 

Previously she was Director Partnerships for the British Council in Egypt from 2014-17, leading on business pursuit and communications. Based in Moscow from 2012-14, Claire served as Deputy Director, British Council Russia, leading a portfolio across Education, English and Arts. Prior she was Head of Arts, running a major cultural programme with high profile partners in the UK and Russia. Starting her career at the British Council’s Creative Economy team in London, she managed the Young Creative Entrepreneur awards, a scheme for innovative entrepreneurs in the creative industries across 50 countries. Claire has an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London.

Teona Burkiashvili is a Georgian-born UK-based artist and curator. She graduated from Tbilisi Academy of Arts in 2007 and continued her studies at LUCA School of Arts and Design and then at Central Saint Martins College and at the University of the Arts, London.  Her core practice centres on investigation of random, every day, pop-up, imaginary and visual material. Her interest spans painting, moving image, advertising, art education and philosophy, employing multidisciplinary attitudes and trans-media methodologies. As an independent artist and curator, she has been actively working on various projects and exhibitions internationally in Georgia, Belgium and the UK.  Before joining the project, she was an associate on the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Program, run by the British Council in Georgia.

Tatiana Kochubinska graduated from Art History and Arts Management at the National Art Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture. She started her professional career at the Kyiv Museum of Russian Art, where she worked as a researcher and curator from 2006 to 2011.  In 2010, she had an internship at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK, Aachen, Germany) with the support of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations). Between 2012–2014, she took part in the Curatorial Platform study programme organized by PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv. Since 2019, she has worked as an independent curator and writer. Her main expertise is Ukrainian contemporary art. From 2016 to2019, she curated the Research Platform of the PinchukArtCentre aimed at creating a digital archive of Ukrainian contemporary art. Within the Research Platform, she edited the book PARCOMMUNE. Place. Community. Phenomenon devoted to Kyiv squatting group, Parcommune.In her curatorial practice, Tatiana deals with questions of responsibilities, memory, and trauma, connecting the Soviet past with today’s society. This is reflected in a series of exhibitions such as Guilt (2016), Anonymous Society (2017), and Motherland on Fire (2017). She curated the PinchukArtCentre Prize in 2015 and 2018 and co-curated Future Generation Art Prize in 2019 and the FGAP@Venice as a collateral event of the 58th Venice Biennale.

Seyhan Musaoğlu is a sound artist, performer, curator and the founding director and curator of Space Debris, an independent art space with a focus on innovative dialogue with a collective soul. Her focus both as curator and performer is  creating a fluid experience that considers the relationship between exhibited space and the people within it, challenging the usual constraints to the viewer. Musaoğlu holds her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brandeis University in Fine Arts and Theatre with high honours, and her MFA from Parsons, The New School of Design, Art, Media and Technology, New York. Musaoğlu has shown her interdisciplinary work internationally in locations including Boston, New York, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Curitiba. Following her MFA, she began performing internationally with collaborations in sound and experimental noise. Musaoğlu made her curatorial debut when she founded {SØNiK}Fest, the sound, new media and performance festival in New York City in 2009.

Su Basbugu joined the British Council in August 2014. Previously working as the Arts and Culture Manager of the Old Liqueur Factory Project in Istanbul, Su also worked with Bilgi University as a Research Assistant, Istanbul Museum of Modern Arts as an Assistant Curator of Photography and Mixer Art Gallery as a Consultant. Su is also the designer and content manager of, a monthly literary e-magazine and, Turkey’s first e-book publisher. Her professional practice focuses on devising long-term impactful and inclusive international arts projects with diversity and engagement standing in their core and she is personally passionate about digital innovation and its implications in cultural life and creative industries.Su has completed her BA at the Management of Performing Arts Department of Bilgi University (Istanbul) and her MFA at the Visual Communication Design Department of the same university.

Victoria Ivanova is a curator, writer and consultant living in London. Ivanova’s practice is focused on systemic and infrastructural conditions that shape socio-economic, political and institutional realities. To this extent, Ivanova develops  innovative approaches to policy, finance and rights in the sphere of contemporary art and beyond. She is a co-founder of Izolyatsia, Real Flow and Bureau for Cultural Strategies (bux), and frequently works with artists, institutions and interest organisations. Back in 2010, she graduated from the LSE with an MSc in Human Rights, which was followed by a Masters in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies Bard College in 2014 for which she received a scholarship. Ivanova’s practice-based PhD in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries has the working title, ‘From Institution to Platform: Organisational Structures and Arts Practices in Network Cultures’. With Serpentine Galleries as a test site for intra- and inter-institutional operational prototyping via the arts and technology research network, the overarching aim of the research proposal is to develop and test out an expanded digital strategy that operationally remodels a dimension of the contemporary art institution into a platform for cross-sectorial R&D.

Lera Polianskova is a media and sound artist. She studied history and theory of theatre at the Kharkiv National University of Arts. Between 2004-2009, she worked as an actress in the Arabesky theater. She is a member of the SVITER art group since 2008 and Institution of Unstable Thoughts since 2015. In 2010, she co-founded and co-curated the TEC creative exposition centre in Kharkiv and in 2014, she founded (together with Ivan Svitlychnyi and Max Robotov) the Shukhliada Exposition Environment, a virtual art platform to support independent for curatorial projects. She participated in the 57th Venice Biennale with the ‘Parliament’ project in the Ukrainian Pavilion and the 2018 transmediale Vorspiel festival (Berlin, Germany). She lives and works in Kiev.

The Shukhliada exposition environment is a curatorial project funded by artists Ivan Svitlychnyi, Lera Polianskova, Maks Robotov (Ukraine). Having been practicing art since 2008, the artists regularly faced problems of a small number of arts spaces, lack of financial support, centralisation of culture. Responding to those challenges, the artists developed a space that became a platform for curatorial projects. Shukhliada exists in the form of a desk drawer, and the exhibited works are suitable to its size. But this material realisation isn’t the end-all, but a precondition for its realisation and existence in the virtual environment; the internet becomes the only tool for representing the exhibition. It is an exhibition space with the ability to take on the size of any screen, but as an environment for addressing complex artistic and social issues: from institutionalism to inclusiveness. 

Khatia Tchokhonelidze has been mainly working in the field of media art research and curating for the last three years. In 2018, among two Georgian curators Vato Urushadze and George Spanderashvili, she founded the independent, transdisciplinary practice-based platform In-between Conditions linking with media art, new technologies, science and other hybrid forms of contemporary   culture.   In   the   same   year, the   platform   has   launched   a very   first   new media art show in Tbilisi as the first attempt to map and explore current conditions in the local context regarding new media art and interdisciplinary practices.

In-between Conditions is a reflection on current transforming times where the fast-paced technological development, the irreversible process of dissemination of digital information, the constant online connection of time and space, media manipulations, ‘fake news’, alternative or simulated realities, all fundamentally transform perspectives of human perception and representation.  In-between Conditions is an independent, transdisciplinary practice-based platform linking with media art, new technologies, science and other hybrid forms of contemporary culture. The main concept of the platform tends to elaborate a complex curatorial approach aiming to identify changing socio-political contexts, to develop a cultural infrastructure and to generate manifestations for knowledge production.

Abid Hussain is Director, Diversity at Arts Council England, the national development agency for arts and culture leading the organisation’s work on equality, inclusion and the creative case for diversity. He is an alumnus of both the U.S International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) and the Salzburg Global Seminar responding to themes of art and social change, migration, displaced artists and conflict transformation. Abid has led on the development of the Arts Council’s strategic equality and diversity framework since 2014 which included the development and launch of the transformative Elevate and Change Makers programmes which have made a significant contribution to diversifying the arts and cultural landscape in England. He is involved in the strategic delivery of the Unlimited programme which provides a platform for showcasing the best in disability and D/deaf arts and has commissioned a series of research and toolkits to address the under representation of disabled people working in the arts and cultural sector.  He has extensive experience of working with cultural institutions, academia, government and third sector agencies across North America, Europe, Asia, South Africa and Australasia.

Arts Council England is the national development agency for arts and culture in England. They champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Between 2018 and 2022, Arts Council England will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.