Panel: City, Participation and Activism in Turkey and Brazil

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The panel City, Participation and Activism will be held online on December 21, Monday at 16.00 (GMT+3).

You may watch the live-stream in Turkish and English.
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to register.

Organized jointly by Hafıza Merkezi, Association for Monitoring Equal Rights and Netherlands Helsinki Committee, the panel is part of a series titled Shrinking Democratic Spaces and International Solidarity.

Panel speakers are Alessandra Orofino, Director of Nossas, and Yaşar Adanalı, Director of Center for Spatial Justice. Journalist and researcher Sezin Öney will moderate the talk.

In this panel, we will look into the notion of shrinking of civil spaces more in terms of the physical spaces of democracy. We will discuss the changing dynamics of citizen activism in the context of rising populism and Covid-19, and the forms of struggle in response to these challenges. Some of the issues and questions we want to address with respect to both Turkey and Brazil are;

  • What are some of the urgent issues on democratic spaces and participation in two countries with strong populist characteristics?
  • How did Covid-19 transform spaces of democracy, participation and activism?
  • The role of local governments, municipalities and local authorities as partners and/or hinderance to participation?
  • The opportunities provided by technology and digitalization in the context of cities for grassroots mobilizations,
  • The impact of natural disasters – along with the human inflicted injustices – like earthquakes, storms, floods and climate change on citizenship and mobilization.

Alessandra Orofino is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Nossas, where she develops tools and methodologies for activism and participation. She is also the director for Greg News, HBO’s only comedy news show in Brazil. Nossas was born out of Alessandra’s experience with Meu Rio, a city-based community of hundreds of thousands of members that work together to impact local politics. Prior to founding Meu Rio, Alessandra worked at Purpose, a partner organisation of Meu Rio, where she set up the company’s office in Brazil. She holds a degree in Economics and Human Rights from Columbia University and was a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, contributing to their pioneering program in Design for Social Innovation.

Yaşar Adnan Adanalı is an Istanbul based urbanist, researcher and academic. He is one of the founders and directors of the Center for Spatial Justice (Mekanda Adalet Dernegi-MAD). He worked on the right to housing with urban poor in Santa Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. He was involved in the project conducted by the University of Stuttgart to improve Palestinian refugee camps in different cities in the Middle East through participatory methods. He has been teaching participatory planning and design courses in Mundus Urbano Masters Programme at TU Darmstadt since 2009. He coordinates MAD’s Urban Ecology Summer School on the Roads of Istanbul. Adanalı is one of the volunteers for Düzce Hope Homes, first participatory public housing project in Turkey.