Tomorrow, March 8 is International Women's Day, a holiday celebrated every year where women are acknowledged with respect, appreciation and love
This year marks the 100th anniversary that Women's Day, held every year on March 8, was declared a national holiday, in Russia no less, a historical event incidentally leading to the February Revolution and the end of Tsarism and the Russian Empire. Since then, over the past 100 years, this day devoted to acknowledging women's existence has become an official holiday in countries far and wide and is especially prevalent in countries such as Cuba, Uganda, Afghanistan and Vietnam. While in Turkey, as is the case in the United States and most countries in Europe, International Women's Day is not a public holiday, it is celebrated widely by municipalities and in many workplaces as well as in countless concerts, dinners and conferences held throughout the country. The following is a handpicked list of events starring members of the expat community or at the very least geared towards them. Hope you enjoy!
Sista Soundsystem with Aysu Çöğür and Melissa Clissold
On Wednesday, March 8, reggae club Nayah in Kadıköy will be hosting a very special evening in honor of International Women's Day with "Sista Soundsystem," a very special lineup of some of Istanbul's best female reggae performers. On the mic will be Sista I aka Aysu Çöğür, an Australian-Turk who also performs a mix of funk, rock and ethnic neo-soul with her band Experimistan. Melissa Clissold, a British-Turkish expat and founder of Jam Sessions Turkey, who also fronts the reggae band Zeytin, will be joined by "selectresses" Sista Aloha and Lady Kadijah for a special set of reggae and dancehall at Nayah, Turkey's oldest and most popular reggae club that moved to its new location in Kadıköy last fall.
Country for Syria at Nazım Hikmet Foundation
Country for Syria is an Istanbul-based international music collective with members from the U.S., Syria, Czech and Turkey who blend Middle Eastern music with American country music. The band contributes its earnings to aid refugees and those affected by the conflict. Their most recent song "In the States" criticizes Trump's travel ban and is getting airplay on international outlets such as NPR. Just last week Country for Syria and the story of how American expat Owen Harris and Syrian national Bashar Balleh came to form the band was featured in a Huffington Post in an article titled, "Refugees and Rock Stars Protest through Music."
Well worth the hype, check out Country for Syria set to perform at 11:30 a.m. at the Şişli Municipality's Women's Day celebration that will be held at the Nazım Hikmet Cultural and Arts Foundation.
Int'l Women's Day Run and Cocktail & Dreams Party at Luzia
On the evening of Wednesday, March 8, Luzia in Arnavutköy will be hosting their fourth annual International Women's Day Run followed by a Cocktail & Dreams Party to cap off the night. Organized by Istanbul Koşu Kuvvetleri, there will be two different runs for runners and walkers scheduled at night that will take off from Luzia in Arnavutköy and head towards Rumeli Hisarı. These runs, a 3k and a 6k, are open to everyone, female and male, and will start at 7:45 p.m., taking place simultaneously with dozens of other cities.
Stylish café and cocktail bar Luzia, which also happens to be the Istanbul branch of what began in Berlin, will be hosting a very special evening with a documentary showing and DJ performances in honor of International Women's Day called their "Cocktail & Dreams" party. This free event will start at 7 p.m. with special treats given out followed by a documentary showing at 8 p.m. of the film "Tülay German: Years of Fire and Cinders." This 50-minute documentary follows the life of a female pioneer in Turkish pop music who self-exiled herself to Paris 40 years ago.
From 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., Ladies on Records, a project by Polish expat and record collector Kornelia Binicewicz, who has uncovered countless recordings of Turkish female vocalists among many others from the 60s and 70s, has created a genre referred to as Arabesque meets "a go-go."
From 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., one of Istanbul's most popular female dance DJs Zozo takes over the turntables with her repertoire of funk and disco blended with house and techno. The night comes to a close with Evrim De Evrim, one of Istanbul's most rooted female DJs of venues such as Wake up Call and Suma Beach, who will be getting everyone grooving until the wee hours of the morning.
Zorlu PSM-Studio hosts 'Lokalize' a showcase of female musical talentsStarting at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, Zorlu Performing Arts Center Studio will be hosting a very special "Lokalize: International Women's Day" event in which four up-and-coming young and talented musical female performers will be taking the stage. The performers are Nilipek, especially known for her captivating covers of pop songs she performs on the ukulele and her album entitled "Sabah" that was released in 2015. Next is Selin Sümbültepe, whose single "Renk Vermez Sana" and cover of the Moroccan native French jazz vocalist Hindi Zahra's İmik Simik has made a name for herself. Merve Çalkan is a singer songwriter as is Sedef Sebüktekin, who has a 4-song EP released called "Acoustic." Tickets cost TL 30 ($8) and TL 20 for students.
PoliPop Choir Performance for Women's Day at CKM
The PoliPop Choir, "Korosu" in Turkish, is Turkey's first-ever polyphonic pop choir that interprets Turkish and international pop songs in choir music. Open to everyone of any age to join, this event will be a pleasant opportunity to check out the choir in action for a very special Women's Day performance taking place on Wednesday, March 8 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Caddebostan Cultural Center.
Turkish-American Association in Ankara hosts Ankara Polyphonic Choir
The Turkish-American Association in Ankara will be hosting a very special performance of the Ankara Polyphonic Choir (Ankara Çoksesli Korosu) at the Coşkan Daş Theater on Wednesday, March 8 starting at 8 p.m. The Ankara Polyphonic Choir spans back to the 1960s and is the first choir to represent Turkey on an international sphere, winning nine international awards throughout its history. Tickets are TL 13 and available on Biletix.