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 against oppression resulted in gathering only around certain defense lines. Trying to push back the attacks on our lives, we were left with no time and space for nuanced debates.

Without forgetting the importance of togetherness, KIRIK would like to explore the creative potentials of in-betweenness. We aim to foster knowledge production and sharing through talks, discussions, screenings and meetings. 

In its first year, KIRIK hosted a number of discussions on the radical meaning of solidarity in addition to film programs on the ecological crisis, colonialism, extractivism, capitalism and crime, genocide, and accountability. In its second year, KIRIK proposes to host talks and screenings that will primarily address the complex issue of sanctions and boycotts in the local geography, as well as discussions of cultural hegemony and cultural polarization.

* 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 theater. 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 Foundation for Arts Initiatives and SAHA for their support in our foundation year, and for providing us with a web domain. 

Design and visual identity – Ceren Abay
Web design and application – Erge Yeksan
Social media and general coordination – Çisel Karacebe