KIRIK* is a research-based, participatory and critical initiative for people and topics in the cracks. 

By choosing KIRIK as the name of our initiative, we embrace and reclaim multiple meanings of this versatile word in Turkish such as crack, broken, hue, hybrid, fault, strange, queer and bent. 

Our initiative comes as a response to the shrinking of individual, cultural and political spheres in Turkey in the past decade. While several collectives and solidarity organisations which we were part of struggled to sustain themselves, larger cultural institutions had to make concessions from programs that defined their long-term missions. Seeking comfort in actions of immediate solidarity and togetherness against oppression resulted in gathering only around certain defense lines. Unable to expand beyond rights-based activism to push back the attacks on our lives, we were left with no time and space for nuanced debates.

We now believe that a new approach is needed. We propose to focus on what this emphasis on solidarity has been missing and will dare to expand beyond defense lines to activate discussions which remain in the cracks. Without forgetting the importance of togetherness, we would like to explore the creative potentials of in-betweenness. With KIRIK, we aim to foster knowledge production and sharing through talks, screenings and workshops. 

KIRIK eventually aspires to have a physical space. Yet, for our foundation year, we start  with online events which will be shaped by our continuous discussions with our allies. 

* crack / broken / hue / hybrid / fault / strange / queer / bent 

Zeyno Pekünlü is an artist whose artistic interventions mostly take the form of videos and installations. She is currently running the Istanbul Biennial’s Production and Research Program. She is in the editorial board of Red Thread Journal and also a member of The Institute of Radical Imagination. Together with Köken, she was part of the collective Dünyada Mekan (A Place on Earth), a self-organized solidarity space which provided freelancers with free working space. Zeyno has been involved in several initiatives for freedom of expression and art workers’ rights in Turkey, since 2011.

Köken Ergun is an artist/filmmaker with a background in theatre. He has been part of several collectives including the Watermill Center and Artists Video and Film Association Berlin. Prior to his artistic career, he has worked several years in the organization of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and was one of the founders of !f istanbul Film Festival. He is also a founding member of After the Archive?, an Istanbul based initiative that questions the role and function of archives in public memory.

We thank the Foundation for Art Initiatives for their support in our foundation year, put.io for providing us web domain and SPOT projects and its team for sharing their work space with us.

Thanks – Banu Karaca, Başak Emre, Begüm Özden Fırat, Gökcan Demirkazık, Haziran Düzkan, Kültigin Kağan Akbulut, Merve Elveren, Özge Ersoy, Saliha Yavuz

Design and visual identity – Ceren Abay
Web design and application – Erge Yeksan