Culture Lab

June, 2020
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The Participatory
Action Research

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Özgün Özçer

Istanbul (Turkey)

I'm a journalist and project coordinator at the Istanbul-based Platform for Independent Journalism (P24). I've worked in several Turkish media outlets including Taraf, Hurriyet Daily News and Birgün as well as in NGOs, such as UNICEF Turkey and Amnesty Turkey. I've covered all types of subjects throughout my work as a journalist; now however I mainly focus on human rights issues, militarism and the climate crisis while also writing on culture on P24's online literary website K24. I'm part of the team who founded Kıraathane, Istanbul's first literature house, where we hold daily talks, exhibitions, workshops, film screenings, reading theatres and even a book fair. We conceived Kıraathane as a space for free speech at a time when the possibilities to gather and express ideas have become increasingly restricted. In a year-and-a-half of existence, we hosted well over 400 events with writers, opinion shapers and artists, some very prominent, who came to meet with their audience in the warm and casual rooms of our house. We also hosted foreign authors in our writer/artist-in-residence room. We hope to put the concept of literature house in Istanbul's culture map as a space of free-thinking and exchanging ideas.