Zeynep Sıla Akıncı, Ruken Aydoğdu, Pelin Tan, Yıldız Tahtacı, Rojda Tuğrul, Merve Gül Özokcu, Mezra Öner, Leyla Keskin, Yelta Köm
Zeynep Sıla Akıncı is a landscape architect and urban designer. She published an article about infrastructure & resource territories in Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (Columbia Books & Lars Müller, 2016). Her research interests include social ecology, Kurdish politics, and water geopolitics. Akıncı is a master student at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.
Mezra Öner is an urban planner. focuses on the geography of trash/waste, Z.Bauman and biopolitics, anthropocene. She completed her master degree about the Politics and the Geography of Trash/Waste at Master Program of Architecture at Mardin Artuklu University under the Supervisor of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pelin Tan. She is a grants manager of International Medical Corps Turkey which is an international humanitarian aid organization for Refugees in Turkey that provides medical and outreach support to cross-border. She is responsible for conducting projects on the field with coordinating local NGO’s. Öner graduated from department of City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University in Ankara. She was the Project Cordinator of Mardin WasteWater Treatment Plant Project on behalf of Mardin Metropolitan Municipality for two years and has taken role for institutional capacity building of Municipality. Öner is a member of Chamber of City Planner and Association of Human Rights in Diyarbakır. In addition that, she has participated to some workshops and seminars as speaker and participant: “Urban transformation, Border&Migration and urban warfare”, The Aesthetics of Affect: conflict, space, action, method, Workshop, Actopolis Project, Goethe Ankara, 07-08/10/2016, “Extrastatecraft – Colonization of Infrastructure”, speaker/participant, Autonomous Infrastructure Project, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016: After Belonging, 20/06/2016″, “Understanding Autonomy Practices”, presenter/speaker, Radical Urban Theory with Prof.David Harvey, Mardin Artuklu Architecture Faculty, Postgraduate Program, Mardin,12-14 May 2015 Summer School-Practices of Commoning: Critical Spatial Ecology in Beirut, participant Beirut/Lebanon, 10/08/2016.
Pelin Tan is the 6th recipient of the Keith Haring Art and Activism and fellow of Bard College of the Human Rights Program and Center for Curatorial Studies, NY, 2019-2020. She is a sociologist, art historian and currently Professor, Fine Arts Faculty, Batman University, Turkey. Tan is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research, Boston; and researcher at the Architecture Faculty, University of Thessaly, Volos (2020-2025). She is the co-curator of the Cosmological Gardens project by CAD+SR and she was the curator of the Gardentopia project of Matera ECC 2019. She is a member of Imece refugee Solidarity Association/Çeşme and co-founder of Imece Academy; advisor of The Silent University and the pedagogical consortium of Dheisheh Palestinian Refugee Camp, Palestine.
Yildiz Tahtaci is an urban planner; completed her thesis “Spaces of Commons of Dispossessed Women: Women’s Laundry House of Benusen Neighborhood/ Diyarbakır and The Women’s Center/ The Square at the Fawwar Camp/West Bank (Palestine)” under the Supervisor of Assoc.Prof.Dr.Pelin Tan (Mardin Artuklu University – Architecture Faculty). Yildiz’s research trajectory s about ecological feminist approach of architecture, urbanism and spatial practices. Between 2013 – 2017, she worked at the Urban Planning Department of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality. She was one of the project leader of Project of Matra “Replacement of displaced person: A new perspective of Social housing for Municipality” (collaboration between Diyarbakir Municipality and Berlage Architecture Institution and IHS, Erasmus University in Rotterdam). Yildiz was a delegate of Diyarbakır Branch of the Chamber of City Planners TMMOB (Union Of Chambers Of Turkish Engineers And Architects) , Co-president of Diyarbakır Branch of the Chamber of City Planners TMMOB, Secretariat of Diyarbakır Branch of the Chamber of City Planners TMMOB, Editor of journal of the Chamber of City Planners issue about Women – War – City (March 2015), A committee member of preparing of Kurdish dictionary of technical terms/Diyarbakır Branch of Union Of Chambers Of Turkish Engineers And Architects, Spokesman of Local Agenda 21 City Council and conducting a campaign for pre-candidate procedure of ‘The Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape for UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Member and Deputy Chairman of Association of Ecology. She participated and presented in workshops such as Autonomous Infrastructure (Dheisheh and Al-Fawwar Palestinian Refugee Camps, West Bank, 2015), Gender and Urban Space (TMMOB, 2017), The Aesthetics of Affect: conflict, space, action, method (Actopolis -Goethe Ankara, 2016), Summer School-Practices of Commoning: Critical Spatial Ecology in Beirut (Sursock Museum & Mardin Artuklu Postgrad Program, July 2016), Radical Urban Theory (with Prof.David Harvey, Mardin Artuklu Architecture Faculty Postgraduate Program, May 2015).
Rojda Tugrul is an interdisciplinary artist & researcher, living in Mardin and Vienna, where she is undertaking a PhD.-in-Practice at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Following her scientific background (MSc in veterinary surgery) she has been engaged and combined her field with social science. During her study in Vienna, she has held a researcher position for 2 years in the project called “Dis/Possession: Post-participatory Aesthetic and Pedagogy of Land” and teaching position for 1-year on ‘Research Methodologies”. Her work has exhibited in several places in Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Serbia, and Turkey. Besides artistic talks, she has participated in several conferences and publications which indicate the conceptualisation of her art practice.
Merve Gül Özokçu is an architect, researcher and activist. Her research focus is commons, creative actions, narratives of everyday life and indigenous eco-feminist practices. She is the vice president of the board Herkes İçin Mimarlık (Architecture for All) Association that aims to resolve social problems through architecture while searching for alternative ways of practising architecture. She is a part of Arazi Assembly (2016, Mardin); a research assembly consisting of researchers that are working together in different spatial scales focusing on the Southeast region of Turkey. Arazi considers collective research as a form of knowledge production of decolonization, care and solidarity. Currently, Merve Gül Özokcu is a grant holder of IASPIS and İstanbul Cultural Art Foundation’s Design Resilience Program.
Ruken Aydoğdu is a researcher/architect. She works and produces about city, architecture, ecology, feminism. She is the co-founder of RE-Design Architecture. She focuses on visible spaces of violence in the city of Diyarbakır, where are the geographies of violence, the stories that take place in these spaces, the archaeological/architectural layers, the forms of resistance and how it appears to us. She tries to make it visible through art practices. Aydoğdu, who completed her architectural education at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Mardin Artuklu University, continues her master's education at Dicle University/Turkey. She conducted the Diyarbakır Cultural Heritage Archive project in 2020. She attended various workshops on city and architecture in Istanbul, Izmir, Gaziantep, Mardin and Diyarbakir. In 2019, she was hosted by the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the USA with the Memory Spaces program of a Istanbul-based association Beraberce. She is a member of the Assembly Assembly and Diyarbakır Chamber of Architects. 2021, She is one of the researchers,which is supported by the US Consulate, of the "Designing Resilience" project in partnership with CAD+SR (the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research) and İKSV's Design Biennial.
Yelta Köm is an architect, artist, and researcher who incorporated architecture, artistic and spatial practices to discuss social and political issues. He graduated from Städelschule Architecture Class. His work is mainly influenced by the perception of the environment, neoliberal transformations, the contradiction between nature and technology, and collective movements. Köm’s methodology and mediums demonstrate the diversity of each project, and collaboration is a vital part of it. He co-founded Herkes Icin Mimarlik (Architecture for All), an Istanbul-based non-profit that mediates design processes. He was the associate curator of the Vardiya at the Pavilion of Turkey at Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018. He writes articles for academic and popular culture magazines and books. His work has been shown internationally in biennials, galleries and museums. He is a member of the Arazi Collective, which works on different spatial scales focusing on the Southeast region of Turkey. Yelta Köm is currently a researcher at the ERC-granted Topological Atlas project at TU Delft and a guest lecturer at Berlin International University of Applied Sciences.
Leyla Keskin is an artist and painting teacher in mid-school. Her research is focusing on the extracted geographies of Southeast Anatolia. In her practice and artistic research, she deals with spatial production - temporality - memory and belonging. “Ecological Mourning” is the main theme in her practice and research, with her field research centered in Ilısu Waterdam and Tigris Valley. She researches dispossessed lands, cultural heritage, agro - ecological practice as resistances and rights of rivers. She graduated from Dicle University - Faculty of Fine Arts Painting Teacher department in 2010; Pre-school Teacher Dept. - Anadolu University in 2007. Leyla is completing her master degree on the topic of “Ecological Mourning '' and Hasankeyf in the Visual Communication Design program at Mardin Artuklu University in 2022. In the meanwhile, she conducts pedagogical studies on “Visual Arts and Drama” for children in the age group seven and sixteen. She has participated in workshops/talks and exhibitions: “Tofan”, “Kayıtta'' exhibition (craftsmen and artist collaboration) , 13 Metrekare Art Collective, 2021. Speaker at “Repairing the Future'' Symposium by Bart_Lab_Art. Exhibition about home and covid conditions 2021.