Pursuing Still Images That Move (Us) - Ragip Zik

8 Jan - 31 Mar 2018

The work that is to be realized during the residency at ZK/U is an initial but detailed analysis of image sample(s) from Gezi and Anti-Coup movements in Turkey, took place in 2013 and 2016 respectively. This analysis is part of a doctoral study in sociology, that aims to understand how images circulated on digital platforms mobilize public affects in contemporary social movements.

In the last years, Turkey has witnessed extensive use of images thru social media at two major events of its political and social history: Gezi Protest movement of 2013 that is a social movement carried by massive popular participation, and Anti-Coup resistance of 2016 that emerged as a result of an intra-state conflict which appealed to popular mobilization. Despite their differences, both depended on the production and use of a new visual culture. Both of them were intensively engaged with the Internet and digital practices, as like as many other contemporary movements of the age. They witnessed vast production and circulation of visual materials on social media platforms, particularly as still images, which are in the form of photography and design.

Ragip Zik explores how images become fundamental properties of mass mobilizations due to their semio-affective qualities. They help build and convey central narratives, develop collective identity, and evoke temporality. Going beyond their representational qualities of the reality, visuals bring in stories for people to interact and follow, and help construct solidarity bonds among the group members, while opening us a window to see and follow the traces of protest iconography. Viewers are exposed to these visuals ubiquitously due to the conditions and possibilities of production and circulation offered by digital technologies, even considerable time after the peak moments of mobilization.

Ragip Zik ( )

M. Ragip Zik is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the Free University of Berlin and working on a project about the mobilization of public affects through images on digital platforms within the context of contemporary social movements. Building on the concepts of collective identity, iconography, and temporality, he studies the recent Anti-Coup and Gezi movements in Turkey. Ragip holds a master’s degree in Cultural Studies from Istanbul Bilgi University, where he researched about the role of artistic practice in social movements with case studies from street protests in Italy.

Before his PhD studies, Ragip was a Program Officer at the Columbia University's Global Center in Istanbul, facilitating research and education efforts of Columbia community in the region. In the previous 15 years, he worked at various civil society initiatives and organizations in the fields of culture and arts, peacebuilding, and youth work; realizing large-scale projects and community-building activities in the Euro-Mediterranean area and Caucasus. He still collaborates with various institutions as trainer and consultant in topics related to human rights.

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Ragip Zik