MİRAS works with communities to (re)connect people with their cultural heritage and creative practices through community activities, workshops, education, events, research, and support to local musicians and craftspeople. In this way MİRAS contributes to greater and sustainable sense of individual wellbeing, social cohesion, and cultural identity.
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From the beginning of this century, there is a growing awareness that many communities struggle to sustain the cultural practices they value, whether through historical disadvantage, social change, human conflict, technological developments, or natural disasters. Artists, scholars, communities, public authorities, and UNESCO have struck the alarm on threats to humanity’s rich and diverse Intangible Cultural Heritage.
MİRAS develops targeted initiatives to support creative practices within their own cultural ecosystems, with the aim of making them truly sustainable.
The first focus of MİRAS is Hatay, the Turkish province most severely affected by the devastating earthquakes on February 6th, 2023. With close to 80% of the buildings in the historical capital Antakya destroyed, a long process of rebuilding commences.
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This rebuilding requires more than bricks and mortar for the hundreds of thousands who have lost everything. In addition to the trauma of losing loved ones, people have lost their sense of community, of wellbeing, of connection to place.
As residents return over time, MİRAS will provide cultural spaces and organise activities that help the people of Antakya regain their foothold in Hatay, reconnecting with people, traditions, and the rich history of the crossroads of cultures it has been for over 20 centuries.
Miras builds on the local needs and knowledge in Hatay, but also on myriad experiences in rebuilding after major destruction and profound human suffering elsewhere in the world. In 2023-2024, Miras aims to create half a dozen projects in different parts of Hatay for Antakyans, which can serve as safe places to feel safe, to connect, to share, and to process through engaging with cultural practices for people of all backgrounds and ages.
For its work, MİRAS depends on the generosity of donors, granting bodies and partnerships.