Nike x Esra Gülmen: HOPE Alkazar

Collaboration with Nike for Hope Alkazar in istanbul, a new cultural space, 2021


This November one of the most iconic sites in Beyoglu, the Alkazar Cinema is reopening its doors with the support of Nike. Providing a stage for the youth to engage with sports, culture and art under a new name: “HOPE Alkazar”. HOPE Alkazar will be a space that embraces everyone, fostering community and encouraging it to grow and strengthen. In short it is ‘The Scene Of The Movement’.

At HOPE Alkazar Nike will partner with creative minds like Refik Anadol who chase the future or Esra Gülmen who break down taboos.

Nike believes in the transformative power of movement, and HOPE Alkazar is an example of how sport and creativity connect both physically and digitally to benefit the community.

HOPE Alkazar is a space that Nike and its partners have implemented to give hope to the young community who dream of making the world better together. The Alkazar Stage, the sports studio, the creative workshop, café and co-working areas as well as the terrace with a multi-purpose sports field.

HOPE Alkazar embodies the following key values:

• Open to everyone wanting to create a better future
• A “Limitless” platform that breaks down barriers using the possibilities of the digital and physical world
• Celebrates the power of community with the principle of “Good Together”
• Embracees sustainability such as using Nike Grind, which is made recycled from footwear and textiles, and creating an ecological garden on the terrace

Esra Gülmen lmen’s Role

Values of HOPE Alkazar are also represented by prominent figures from the arts, sports, civil society, music, dance and many other fields. For example, the reflections of the principle of being "Open to All" can be seen in the sports studio specially designed for this place by Esra Gülmen, who aims to break down social taboos such as gender norms. The studio, created by the artist inspired by concepts such as diversity, equality, empathy, togetherness, freedom and tolerance, has a character that reflects the new face of sports.

Stating that HOPE Alkazar's values coincide with the important themes she tries to explore with her art, Gülmen says, "Being a part of this amazing universe and contributing to this human effort as an artist is very inspiring for me". I consider my own art is my self-therapy, and at this point my interaction began with HOPE Alkazar. My inspiration is always diversity, equality, empathy, togetherness and always hope! This is an amazing word, very deep, very positive. To be hopeful, your mindset should be based on empathy and tolerance, and made a huge illustration for HOPE Alkazar’s sports studio, used the letter ‘’O’’in a very minimal way as smiley faces, which are all different from each other, and when you look at to all art at the background, it makes you feel ‘’regardless of your background, where you came from, your race, gender identity, we are all equal and same. Also like the idea of sports unites you with this perspective at HOPE Alkazar stage.

Also, I used another illustration in the mirrors and in the dressing room space, which is ‘’inhale- exhale’’. These are the words we use mostly when we do exercise, do yoga, do meditation and actually these words are containing a very self-explanatory meaning. To be tolerant and emphathetic to each other, let’s stop for a minute, take a deep breath and then listen yourself, listen the people you connect with, listen silence, listen around and this will make us understand each other better. Because the problem is we do not listen each other first to understand. So let’s inhale & exhale and be more emphatic.

About capsule collection:

Visual artist Esra Gülmen designed this capsule collection (tote bags, t-shirts, yoga matts, sweatshirts) for the HOPE Alkazar community, whose main aim is a social purpose. A stage that welcomes all with open arms and reaches beyond borders, Hope Alkazar works for a better future and the greater good. These items are currently being sold at Nike Istanbul store in Beyoglu. All revenue from the sale of Esra Gülmen’s limited edition collection will be donated to the Tohum Autism Foundation.