Sub-Study Groups: Joint Field Research in Türkiye and Georgia

October 13 – 23. 2023
Trabzon/Rize TURKIYE & Batumi GEORGIA

Submission Deadline: 18 June 2023-Sunday

Proposal for a field research
The Black Sea cultural basin can be defined as a very large area that unites the Balkan, Crimea, Azov, Caspian, Caucasian and Anatolian geographically. Although there have been many ethnic and cultural layers and intersections across different regions of the Black Sea, there have been relatively few studies until today in the field of music and dance. Therefore, we would like to explore new studies with the idea of discovering different perspectives on the links from the past of the Black Sea cultural basin. Please join us and let us re-think the music and dance in the Black Sea Cultural basin together.
The ICTM Sub-Study Group on Music and Dance in the Black Sea Cultural Basin (of the Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeast Europe) and Sub-Study Group on Field Research Theory and Methods (of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology) intends to organize a fieldwork experience in Turkey and Georgia, on the occasion of some local municipalities financial supports. The Eastern Black Sea region comprises a natural environment with dance and music traditions.  Additionally, educational foundations have an essential role in surviving dance and music traditions. Because of the season, the artificial environment will be held for research with local musicians and dancers in educational foundations.
The research will have three main themes with two different purposes: the ethnography of local peoples in the Eastern Black Sea region; and the study and documentation of village music/dance repertoire.
The first theme offers the possibility for experimenting with (new) modalities for collecting relevant information and eliciting the local people’s knowledge about their own traditions in order to construct a visual text (film, photos) that may ‘translate’ the transient reality as closely and illustratively as possible.
The second theme is the study of ethnic communities that are retaining their own culture as they adapt to urban life.
The third theme is to study and recording the dance transmission – the process of reception (from local people to foreigners), and to experiment recording and dance analysis ‘on the spot’ in the fieldwork context.

For the fieldwork, a first suggestion for a program is the following:

13.10.2023 Friday – Arrival in Trabzon and transfer to accommodation, Meeting with the team 14.10.2023 Saturday – Acquaintance with the musician and dancers. Information, interviews, visiting traditional marriage ceremonies of ethnic communities in the urban site of Trabzon
15.10.2023 Sunday – Trip to villages of Trabzon, participation in a celebration with dance -or to a provoked (requested) dance/music event.
16.10.2023 Monday – Departure from Trabzon to Rize City; Meeting at municipality, documenting the local musicians (Harmonica, Tulum) and dance culture of Rize
17.10.2023 Tuesday – Working with the local music/dance communities for the process of teaching /learning the repertoire, music/dance recording and analysis.
18.10.2023 Wednesday – Completing information, group meeting and evaluation of the research experiment.
19.10.2023 Thursday – Departure from Rize to Batumi Georgia, or Departure from Rize to International Trabzon airport.

The research is combined with the festival and conferences below;

18th. Giorgi Garaqanidze International Folk and Church Music Festival
(Batumi/Georgia,  20-22 October 2023.)
The conference focuses on all musicological (ethnochoreological) problems about the interpretation of folk and church music/dance.
Length of presentations: 15 minutes (followed by 5 min. discussion).
Main languages are Georgian and English.

20.10.2023 Friday 18th. Giorgi Garaqanidze International Folk and Church Music Festival in Batumi/Georgia, 
21.10.2023 Saturday -Festival and Conference –  Documenting traditional dance and music at Acara River side.
22.10.2-2023 Sunday – Concluding meeting, Closing Concert
23.10.2023 Monday   – Departure from Batumi International Airport / Departure from Batumi to Turkiye; Trabzon International Airport

If you are interested in this research, please reply by 18th June 2023 to:
Mehmet Öcal ÖZBİLGİN – National Organizer
Abdullah AKAT – Local Organizer
İdris Ersan KÜÇÜK – Secretary

For more information, photographs and map see

Trabzon-Rize-Artvin Turkiye, Batumi-Georgia

Duration of the fieldwork
From 13 October 2023 to 23 October 2023

Travel possibilities
to Turkiye; Trabzon International Airport or Rize-Artvin Airport
To Georgia; Batumi International Airport
Note: The transit maybe also necessary to get to the closest district where the accommodation will be arranged, so Trabzon International Airport is highly recommended for easy reach to accommodation.
More detailed information will be given after receiving your reponses.

Best greetings,
Mehmet Öcal ÖZBILGIN, Abdullah AKAT, İdris Ersan KÜÇÜK