Manda Festivali 2024


An annual water-buffalo festival celebrating the presence and permanence of pastoralist practices in Istanbul’s wetlands, Manda Festivali is organised by CLIMAVORE x Jameel at the Royal College of Art – a partnership between Cooking Sections, Community Jameel and the RCA – in collaboration with the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV).

Bringing together local herders, musicians, environmentalists, artists, biologists, cheese makers and the general public, the festival offers walks, performances, workshops, the first ever herder and buffalo portrait competition, and tasting of buffalo milk products.

In its third year, the festival offers Istanbul’s residents, food producers and ecologists an opportunity to come together and cherish the wetlands and the buffalos and the herders that protect.

Fatih Children's Park, Ağaçlı, Eyüpsultan
Watch livestream


Alon Schwabe

Principal investigator, CLIMAVORE x Jameel at RCA

Daniel Fernández Pascual

Principal investigator, CLIMAVORE x Jameel at RCA



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About the event



Opening speech

Music starts (Arnavutköy village band)

Registration opens for the walk and workshops

Introduce local food bazaar


Metabolic walks:

  • Ağaçlı muhtar + botanist walk: walk showcasing community-led practices of environmental conservation in Ağaçlı village
  • Northern Forests Defence: walk through the remaining fragments of the Northern Forests surrounding Ağaçlı
  • Herder walks x 2: walks led by local herders around local pastures and water buffalo grazing routes
  • Anatolian Grasslands: regenerative grazing walk through village pastures, discussing existing regenerative practices and how they can be enhanced

Children's workshops with EK BİÇ YE İÇ  (ayran making with aromatic plants)

15h00 Music starts (Arnavutköy village band)

15h30-16h00  Portrait competition celebration

Building on the tradition of competitions in agricultural festivals, the festival will host a herder and buffalo portrait competition with a jury and award ceremony, offering the public also the chance to vote on their favourite portraits. These portraits, taken by photographer Deniz Sabuncu, will at the same time become a visual campaign celebrating the multispecies residents and wider ecosystem of the wetland villages.

16h00-17h00 Cümbüş Cemaat musical performances