Husamettin Kocan (Season 02 - Episode 05)
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This Week's Changemaker; Husamettin Kocan Created a Museum to Revitalize the Local Economy

 

On 4 November 2010, Sabanci Foundation's "Turkey's Changemakers" program hosts Husamettin Kocan, an artist and an academician, who established Baksi Museum in the northern city of Bayburt to support local economic development and preserve traditional handicrafts.

 

The Baksi Museum is located in Bayraktar Village, an Anatolian village, where internal migration is an issue. Due to the severe weather conditions most of the villagers have to spend almost 7 months unproductive. To make a living, to look for other economic opportunities, the villagers migrate to other places. Some come back, some never do. Those who migrate take the skills with them and those who are left behind grow up without knowing the traditional values of the village. The traditional handicrafts, such as pottery and ceramics, which once used to be very prevalent in the village, have long been forgotten.

 

Within this context, Mr Kocan brings his experience and knowledge in art to the village he was born. The Museum has six main sections: an Exhibition Hall, where folk art motives, glasses, ceramics and pottery is presented; Bayburt House, which represents the traditional Bayburt architecture; Conference Center; Workshop Section, where villagers weave and make ceramics, a Library which consists of folk art books and prints and a Guest House, where researchers, educators and artists accommodate.

 

With Baksi Museum, Husamettin Kocan revitalizes the local economy by tapping into the community's resources. The name Baksi means "healer, helper and protector." Not only he heals the wounds of migration but also protects the traditional values.

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