Reclaiming the Commons: MODE Istanbul in The Guardian

Doc Next Network partners MODE Istanbul recently had their work with Sokak Bizim, a Turkish NGO dedicated to making cities more liveable, displayed on The Guardian Witness. Here we explore some of their project’s themes through a curated playlist from our Media Collection.

In light of Istanbul’s insistence to continue plans to redevelop Gezi Park, The Guardian Witness recently put out a call for content about civic movements seeking to defend public space. Our partners at MODE Istanbul responded to that call, and you can currently see their work with Sokak Bizim (“Streets Belong to Us”) displayed on their page.

The goal of Sokak Bizim is to engage in placemaking activities that breathe life back into the public spaces that are so rapidly being devoured by the Turkish government’s ferocious pursuit of urbanisation. As streets are cleared of people to make way for capital, the city’s pulse quickens. The pace of human life struggles to catch up, but rarely does. The constant sense of urgency only adds to the anxiety, in a feedback loop of personal stress and social tension. Genuine moments of peace become fewer and further between:
Mobile Inner Peace (Mobil İç Huzur) is just one selection from a playlist of content from the Doc Next Network archive that was lovingly curated by María Yañez to explore some of the themes underlying Sokak Bizim and MODE Istanbul’s campaign to make their city more liveable. There are curated playlists for each of our local Reclaiming the Commons campaigns (in Poland, Spain and the UK, in addition to Turkey), which we will highlight here over the coming weeks. We invite you to explore these videos and make them yours by playing with them, chopping them up, remixing them or integrating them into your own DIY creations. Like our public spaces, they are there to be shared.