thursday – saturday

Rough Copies/ Kaba Kopya

Kaba Kopya, meaning ‘rough copies’, takes its title from a description made by a Turkish politician of the academics who had signed the 2016 peace petition, who he called ‘rough copies of academics’. Kaba Kopya is an installation with three videos of different spaces where the academics convene and documention of the efforts of these academics to create a network of experiments in academia, as a response to being expelled from their jobs and facing ongoing trials. Across the country, academics who have been dismissed from their positions are building ‚Solidarity Academies‘, experiments in pedagogy that question not only the direct crisis they are facing, but the crisis in contemporary academia internationally. The separation of academia from society, the siloing of disciplines, the corporatisation of the academy and education, censorship and intellectual freedom, these are all questions being addressed in different ways by the Solidarity Academies. Kaba Kopya seeks to document these efforts, and to share them in a manner that celebrates the ‘roughness’ and the unfinishedness of them, the experimental nature, the questioning, the ability to try and to change, and the toughness needed to imagine these possibilities in a situation of duress. Kaba Kopya is a way to share these experiments and questions with a wider community of academics internationally, to open up questions around critical pedagogy, and the crisis in academia.

Installation by Oscar Durand and Kathryn Hamilton

Thu 14:00–18:00*
Fri 13:00–21:00*
Sat 14:00–18:00*

Sat 10:00–22:00**

// *Tieranatomisches Theater

thursday – friday

Spaces of Encounter and Change

The installation will display the results of a workshop that was jointly conducted with an interdisciplinary group of students from Humboldt-Universität, Freie Universität and Universität der Künste in Berlin with Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul. It continues the inquiry into the economic activities as well as socio-cultural and spatial practices of Syrian entrepreneurs in the neighbourhoods of Neukölln and Aksaray. Representing different forms of internal border regimes and development through various layers of migration, both neighbourhoods engender spaces of encounter between different groups and their everyday practices in particular ways.Through video mappings, drawings, audio recordings and other means, the installation presents different instances and grades of encounter in urban space. A total of five research projects portray the multiple ways in which Syrian newcomers to Berlin and Istanbul compensate the loss of home through particular food practices and various forms of spatial appropriation. Investigating the specific spaces’ advantages for and hindrances to encounter, the projects look into the intercommunal perceptions and tensions among different groups. They examine the role of gossip and its potential for othering; detect visual resemblances between both neighbourhoods; shed light on common coping strategies; and decipher the unwritten rules, linguistic barriers and other obstacles that shape the form and depth of encounter.

Workshop Participants

Serena Abbondanza, Haya Alkheder, Ragad Avad, Mariame Bentaibi, Katharina Bonengl, Nina Bühler, Finn Dittmer, Emma El Kaladi, Rüya Erkan, Erasmus Famira-Parcsetich, Nikoleta Gashi, Sofía Gohlke Butler, Erol Gorur, Marleen Hascher, Maximilian Hauser, Leo Lüdemann, Marlene Mingramm, Jan-Christopher Pien, Neslişah Kesici, Esra Nur Özçam, Vera Pohl, Dian Sheng, Sean Underwood, Gizem Yağınlı, Busenur Yahsi, Sinem Yıldız, Ezgi Yılmaz, Kübra Yılmaz, Emine Ecem Yücesoy

Thu 14:00–18:00 Fri 09:00–18:00

thursday 15:30 – 17:30

why we're here
walking tour

In 2015 an estimated one million people arrived in Europe seeking refuge, many of whom came from Syria. The media focuses intensely on the so-called ‚refugee crisis‘ but often fails to mention why people have been forced to flee their countries. This tour, led by a Syrian refugee, provides an opportunity to understand the situation in Syria first-hand and why it became too dangerous for many people to stay. By visiting places of historical significance in Berlin, the walking tour seeks to draw parallels between what has happened in the history of Berlin and what is currently happening in Syria. The tour makes tangible that no one is immune to turbulent times, that the refugees of today are escaping real danger and that there are means to offer them a safe place in Europe. By understanding the situation in Syria, it is possible to change attitudes about those fleeing to Europe. The tour named ‚Why we‘re here‘ begins at the Mohrenstraße U-Bahn station. Exit the station in the direction of Wilhelmstraße to find the starting point. The tour will last around two hours, leading through Platz des Volksaufstandes von 1953, Topography of Terror and Checkpoint Charlie before ending at Gendarmenmarkt.

mohamad othman
// meeting point: U Mohrenstraße/ EXIT Wilhelmstraße

thursday 18:00 – 21:00

Two Contested Cities: Urban Transformation and Resistance in Berlin and Istanbul

A selection of short films by İmre Azem (Istanbul) and Matthias Coers (Berlin), followed by a discussion moderated by Ulrike Hamann (Humboldt–Universität Berlin)


İmre Azem

// Ekümenopolis: Ucu Olmayan Şehir 
Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits (2012)

// 3. Havalimanı İnşaatından İzlenimler 
Impressions from Istanbul 3rd Airport Construction (2015)  

// Lamekan: Metalaşan Kentin Çöküşü 
Non-Space: The Collapse of the City as Commodity (2015)

// Dünyanın En Büyük Emlak Fuarı MIPIM‘den 2015 İzlenimleri, Cannes France 
Impressions from MIPIM 2015, the World‘s Biggest Real Estate Fair, Cannes France (2015)


Matthias Coers
// EU-Aktionstag – Berliner Beitrag. Besetzung einer ehemaligen Polizeistation, um Wohnraum für Wohnungslose und     Roma zu erstreiten
European Action Day – Activities in Berlin. Occupation of a former police station to gain housing for street persons and Roma people (Berlin-Lichtenberg 2013)

// Zwangsräumung Tina. Aus der Sicht von Aktivist_innen

Forced eviction of Tina. From the perspective of activists (Berlin–Wedding 2014)

// Frau Warnke. Eine Seniorin vor ihrer Entmietung Mrs. Warnke. A senior woman facing her forced eviction (Berlin-Kreuzberg 2014/2015)

// MIETREBELLEN – Widerstand gegen den Ausverkauf der Stadt. Kurzversion, u.a. für das Wissenschaftsschiff Bundesministerium des Inneren     

RENT REBELS – Resistance against the sell-out of the city. Short version, i.a. for the science ship of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Berlin 2012 – 2014)

// Wir haben genügend Revolutionsbedarf. Solidaritäts-Kurzfilm für den räumungsbedrohten Infoladen M99

We have enough revolutionary needs. A solidarity short     film for the infoshop M99 in danger of eviction (Berlin–Kreuzberg 2016)

Ulrike Hamann (MODerator)
// moviemento kino

friday 11:30 – 13:00

Spaces of Encounter and Change – Syrian
Entrepreneurs in Berlin and Istanbul


The panel will discuss the results of a workshop that was jointly conducted with an interdisciplinary group of students from Humboldt-Universität, Freie Universität and Universität der Künste in Berlin with Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul. It continues the inquiry into the economic activities as well as socio-cultural and spatial practices of Syrian entrepreneurs in the neighbourhoods of Neukölln and Aksaray. Shaped by various layers of migration and representing different forms of internal border regimes, both neighbourhoods engender spaces of encounter between different groups and their everyday practices in particular ways. Making use of mapping techniques from the fields of architecture, urban planning and ethnography alike, the panel explores the relations between different communities and their mundane lives in Berlin and Istanbul in a comparative framework. Two invited discussants will critically engage with the workshop results and its audio-visual and textual representation.

Tuba İnal Çekİç, Tolga İslam, Anna Kokalanova, Urszula Woźniak
Dİdem Danış & Nihad El-Kayed (discussants)

// hgs festsaal

friday 14:00 – 15:30

Urban Solidarities in Migrant Cities

The panel aims to address the city as a space of mobilities and focuses on the various forms and modes of political articulation of these mobilities. One topic it will address is the relationship between mobility and rights – how in certain debates entitlements are derived from ’settledness’ or residence and to what extent their linkage structures the field of relations between established groups of people and groups like refugees, non-resident users, tourists or other newcomers. Does this ‘distribution’ of symbolic rights correspond to different forms of (infra)political engagements? In such a constellation, conflicts often emerge when different assessments and norms are applied whose relation to each other are ambiguous. New categories of migrants, such as academic refugees or expats, might further challenge the basis for our judgements about the hierarchies of exclusions or injustices. In such conflictual contexts, the notion of solidarity becomes problematic, in the sense that full recognition of other positions might not always be achievable. Against this background, should the discussion address conditions of a ‘weaker’ concept of solidarity in urban spaces instead? What would be the function of different urban spaces for the production of such understandings of solidarity?

Dİdem Danış, Nihad El-Kayed, Serhat Karakayalı
Sİnem Adar (MODerator)

// hgs festsaal

friday 17:45 – 18:30

naked language
performative act

Drawing on childhood reflections on the contingency of a mother tongue and socio-political efforts to monopolise it, this performative act by Adnan Misal Yildiz reflects his understanding of public-ness, language, state and identity. Referencing Berlin-based author Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s book of the same name, Mutterzunge has been a yearlong program of workshops, events and installations mapping different locations in Berlin, such as Babylon, Apartment Project, uqbar and COPYRIGHTberlin, among others.

Mİsal Adnan Yıldız
// tieranatomisches theater

friday 18:30 – 19:30

Reading with Emİne Sevgİ Özdamar

„There are no bones in the tongue, it twists wherever you twist it. I twisted my tongue into the German language and was suddenly happy: there at the theater where the tragic plots devastate yet also come with a utopian silver lining. In the streets, Germany looked as though it had no history. But at the theater I found history: Kleist, Büchner, Brecht. The Prince of Homburg, Woyzeck, Baal. All of these German stage characters existed in the streets of Turkey, too. There, too, one saw men that stirred as Büchner’s Woyzeck did. Turkey’s prisons held the Princes of Homburg, suffering their punishments at the hands of authority. Perhaps that was why I did not think of myself as an émigré– the German stage was an extension of my country. The theater is where the dead rise and spectators come to see and hear the dead. That is why the mood in the audience is so feverish before a play begins. People do not want to miss a single word of the dead. And the dead want to keep living so they can meddle with the coming histories of the world. The dead that I brought with me from Turkey mingled in Berlin with the dead of the German theater, with gypsies killed by the Nazis, with Jews, with Walter Benjamin, with a German social democrat who had been quartered with a hatchet, with Erich Mühsam. When my friends in Berlin would go down to their basements to get something, I would go with them and stop outside their compartments’ doors. I would wander up and down along the old cold walls, identifying with the people who had hidden out in Berlin’s basements decades earlier, trying to feel in my body the fear they had felt.“


From a recent contribution entitled „Sprachsanatorium“, (Language Sanatorium Berlin) by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, There is Fiction in the Space Between, nbk, 2019

The reading will be held in German.

Emİne Sevgİ Özdamar
// tieranatomisches theater

From Emine Sevgi Özdamar‘s archive

saturday 09:45 – 11:00

Spacio-politics: Humboldt Forum, New Taksim, Checkpoint Charlie and the City Quarters
moderated talk

Both Berlin and Istanbul were shaped by the history of the Cold War, which influenced their politics of space. The transformation of states and their capitalistic drive after the “Wende” provoked similar movements of public resistance. When the Cold War ended, capitalism released social distributive justice and evolved to neo-liberalism: the production of urban fabric became a major tool of capital accumulation; city quarters changed under ongoing speculation.The newly formed states failed to implement peoples needs and social justice. Instead, they built symbols of a glorified imperial/colonial golden past. The Berlin Palace of Republic (PdR) and the Istanbul Palace of Culture (AKM) as symbolic manifestations of social state modernisms faced revanchism and fell victim to policies of spacio-cide. Simultaneous attempts aimed at restituting long lost baroque façades of the Stadtschloss or the Artillery Barracks on top of the Gezi Park. Form prevailed over function, reversing the maxim of modernism. The contested development around Checkpoint Charlie exemplifies another typical case, where public interest to maintain an authentic historical site collides with investor interests. A bottom-up urban development based on citizens needs and demands has been ruled over by top-down approaches lobbied by capital to maximise profit. Historical images are used only to market a myth for purely speculative reasons.

Orhan Esen, Theresa Keilhacker
Begüm Başdaş (MODerator)

// aquarium (südblock)

saturday 11:15 – 12:45

Conflict and Coexistence in BERLIN AND IstanbuL

This panel will discuss various forms of coexistence in urban space in light of their inherent conflicts. Drawing on different case studies in Berlin and Istanbul, the panelists will examine the roles of the state and inhabitants in shaping different social and spatial configurations of co-presence in the urban space as well as its management. Through the example of Syrian migration to Berlin and Istanbul, the panel will focus on newly emerging relations between host societies and newly arrived groups. Shedding light on grass-roots initiatives and various other forms of ‘arrival infrastructures’, these relations reveal multiple mundane practices that oscillate between solidarity and exclusion. The panel will further examine case studies from Istanbul’s urban margins to discuss how state security violence and the counterviolence it provokes can be analysed as forms of social engineering aimed at depoliticising and reorganising social antagonisms by translating them into a language of terror, security, and ethno-sectarian conflict. The panel will thereby look into the development of clashes between already existing and newly formed polities, the state’s role in the shaping of dissent and the ways in which spatial appropriation of newly arrived migrants may collide with humanitarian logics and technocratic emergency management.

Hİlal Alkan, Anna Steigemann, ​Denİz Yonucu
Gülçİn Balamir Coşkun (MODerator)

// aquarium (südblock)

saturday 12:45 – 13:45

Rough Copies/ Kaba Kopya
lunch & talk

Kaba Kopya, meaning ‘rough copies’, takes its title from a description made by a Turkish politician of the academics who had signed the 2016 peace petition, who he called ‘rough copies of academics’. Kaba Kopya is an installation documenting the work of different groups of these academics to create a network of experiments in academia, as a response to being expelled from their jobs and facing ongoing trials. Across the country, academics who have been dismissed from their positions are building ‚Solidarity Academies‘, experiments in pedagogy that question not only the direct crisis they are facing, but the crisis in contemporary academia internationally. The artist Kathryn Hamilton and the academic Aslı Odman will discuss the installation and the ongoing process of its making.

Kathryn Hamilton, Aslı Odman
// aquarium (südblock)

saturday 13:45 – 15:15

Urban Movements: What did we miss?
moderated talk

Both Istanbul and Berlin were places of strong urban social movements during the last years. Despite different urban development trends and political constellations, urban struggles were and continue to be characterised by grass-roots movement mobilisations. The panel will discuss the emergence and the activities of urban social movements from the viewpoint of plurality and representation. On the one hand, mass mobilisations like the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul or tenant mobilisations in Berlin involve a broad spectrum of social groups. On the other hand, increased diversity of participants and fragmented structures of mobilisation can complicate the clear strategic articulation of goals and demands for an urban social movement. This panel discusses the tension between mobilisation and organisation and the relationship between neighbours directly affected by the valorisation or restructuring of urban environments and ‘political’ activists. The panel will ask: who is speaking for the movements? Who will be part of organised and institutionalised structures of mobilisation? What strategies were developed and used by the current movements to improve the representation of diverse and marginalised groups? Following a short introduction to urban social movement mobilisations and protests in Istanbul and Berlin during the last years by Ayşe Çavdar and Andrej Holm, Kathrin Wildner will moderate a discussion focusing on the potentiality and failure of protest mobilisations under the conditions of urban complexities.

Ayşe Çavdar, Andrej Holm
Kathrin Wildner (MODerator)
// aquarium (südblock)

saturday 15:30 – 17:00

Re-Writing the City through Engaged Walking

There are a plethora of modes of and intentions in walking the city: meandering streets for people gazing and shopping, commuting in routinely timed patterns, sightseeing on guided tours and protesting in organised processions among them. Likewise, there are many different ways to experience and make sense of walking in the city depending both on one’s social and physical positioning (i.e. gender, race, class, age, disability) and the time and location where the walking takes place. How we walk, with whom we walk and how we experience the walk each reveal something unique about the city and its underlying history. Depending on how they are stitched together, acts of walking compose varying patchworks of individual and collective narratives about the city. This panel connects Istanbul and Berlin through the practice of engaged walking. It explores various political efforts centred on the idea of walking, such as through mobilising forgotten or hidden memories and walking new and uncharted paths, with the aim of re-writing hegemonic narratives of cities. It also closely considers walking as an ethnographic and activist method of engagement with the urban. The speakers in this panel will discuss how to make cities more inclusive through walking and how to make walking more inclusive.

Kristen Biehl, Agata Lisiak, Sema Semİh Togay, Kathrin Wildner
// aquarium (südblock)

saturday 17:15 – 18:45

Homes in Making:
Queering migrant spaces in Berlin and Istanbul


Most people have their own narratives of migration: some move towards an imagined home; while others move away from the home they know; and others remain in a perpetual sense of in-betweenness. Migration is usually understood as a search for a better home and a safe haven, but it is also an urge to realize other ways of being and relating that are far more complex. Migrant bodies carry fractured belongings and shifting temporalities in such processes of place-making. Berlin and Istanbul have always been on the map as “geographies of desire” for different groups of migrants, including LGBTI+ communities, as they attract internal and transnational migration. However, academic and activist works on migration and diaspora rarely attend to the diverse politics of sexualities and desires of migrant bodies. The relationship between Berlin and Istanbul is not a one way street, but a complex one as these cities are messy spaces that cannot be captured in coherent categories of destination/departure, pleasure/pain, old/new, and belonging/mobility. The forum aims to understand how queer migrant bodies (re)construct their identities, belongings, and diverse networks of solidarity and resistance in Berlin and Istanbul. How do the activist interventions to these cities shift in time and also learn from each other?

david Albilal, Nazlı Cabadağ, Şevval Kılıç
Begüm Başdaş and Yener Bayramoğlu (MODerators)

// aquarium (südblock)

saturday 19:00 – 20:00

Resistance through Music –
Creating New Spaces

moderated talk

Resistance has sounds, lyrics and rhythms. In any social or political confrontation, music is a universal tool against the hegemonic worldview. Solidarity expressed through music is a performance of ‘from below’. In that sense, music mobilises and frames ‘the common’. Berlin has been a refuge for many musicians from Turkey over the past years who partly migrated due to political reasons. This moderated talk explores music in the context of migration from Istanbul to Berlin by focusing on music and music productions as forms of resistance to political and social developments. The panel will consider to what extent musicians and producers perceive their music as a tool of resistance and how music creates new spaces in times of political crisis. What limits and potentials do they perceive? And to what extent do they make social grievances visible in and through their music?

Mavİş Güneşer, Gİzem Oruç
Banu Çİçek Tülü (MODerator)
// aquarium (südblock)

friday 09:45 – 11:15

We, the invisible hours, spaces and relations of the city: Labouring Istanbul, labouring Berlin
Moderated Participation of Audience

The interactive panel will concentrate on making labour in the city visible and encourage the audience to participate in the discussion. It will lay out the grounds for a comparison between Istanbul and Berlin, delineating lines of continuity and difference between labouring experiences in the two cities. Capital accumulation in Istanbul accelerated through emergency laws and neo-populist consensus building. Yet the everyday narratives of the masses of the working population remain invisible not only to the public but also to the working people themselves. When has the labouring city actually been visible during the last decade in Istanbul? Only if it dies or resists? The panel will focus on the construction of Istanbul’s third airport – the largest construction project the city has ever experienced. While the European Union was hit by the crisis, both the economy and population of Berlin continued to grow, especially the service and information technology sectors. Who is benefitting from these expansions? From popularised images of shiny IT-startups to the hidden backrooms of restaurants, the labour landscape of the city has remained unequal. However, struggles are emerging with visible protests on the streets and the silent construction of networks of resistance. The panel will address recent labour struggles in both cities, focusing on their forms of protest and organisation.

Stefania Animento, Aslı Odman
// hgs festsaal

friday 15:45 – 17:00

New Migration from Turkey:
Feelings, affinities, and creativities


Due to rising political repression and turmoil in Turkey, a growing number of people – mostly academics, journalists, artists, and students – are leaving the country and settling around the globe, especially in Berlin. The desire, need, or impulse to leave Turkey has often been prompted by the loss of forms and spaces of belonging, acting, and creating. Consequently, experiences of mobility and dwelling have been characterized by profound feelings that take on collective, public, and political characters and by configuration of translocal relations and spaces to recreate individual and collective worlds that have fallen apart. While moving to Berlin is often dependent on proposals to research, work, or produce, the changing space, language and system of cultural production might stifle, as well as stimulating the promised creations of new migrants.

Following the screening of self-reflexive video-series Welcomed to Germany?, this open discussion addresses affective and translocal experiences of mobility and dwelling in the context of new migration from Turkey. Can collective, public, and political feelings form a basis for imagining and defining “we”? How can political friendships open up new possibilities for collectivity, collaboration, and creativity? How does creative work motivate or challenge possibilities for feeling at home? Finally, can feelings, affinities, and creations generate affective grounds for hope?

Özgür Çİçek, Özlem Sarıyıldız, ​Özlem Savaş
// hgs festsaal

saturday 20:15 – 21:00


Korospular is a queer feminist choir started by a group of artists and activists based in Istanbul. They re-interpret existing songs lyrics with lubunca, a slang used among queer people in Turkey. The choir is non-hierarchical with a fluid membership open to new participants. They perform at human rights-based queer and feminist events. Korospular focuses on solidarity and queer joy rather than on making perfect music. They include the audience as part of the experience of joy in their shows.

// aquarium (südblock)


Organising committee:
Ertuğ Tombuş, Urszula Woźniak, Tuğba Yalçınkaya 

Conference coordinator:
Irmak Ekin Karel

Conference assistants:
Lalit Chennamaneni, Mathis Gann, Lennard Gottmann, Kristin Küter, Felix Ochtrop, Maximiliane Schneider

// The conference is organised by the programME "Blickwechsel: Contemporary Turkey Studies" and funded by Einstein Foundation and Stiftung Mercator.