Unpacking Our Library

Unpacking our Library consists of a series of hybrid collective reading practices both digital and physical inhabiting the Archive Inventory library, in collaboration with accomplice libraries in Berlin. How do we inhabit a library collectively? How does a library become a medium for connecting readers’ trajectories, struggles and potential alliances? What are the strategies that collective readings set-up to create moments of exchange, solidarity and citizenship? The program engages with communal formats of readership – from workshops, reading groups, community libraries to reading clubs –, as well as with cultural practitioners, librarians, activists and artists. Each session put into play shared structures of archiving and reading, from digital collections, re-publications to translations and on-going investigations. By socializing collective models of library activations, the program collectively unpacks Archive’s library at its new home in Berlin. Each encounter fosters and nurtures a net of accomplices with whom to engage with in the long-term, weaving a format in which collaborations beyond the scope of this project are welcomed. The very word ‘accomplice’ stems from the Latin complicare which means to “fold, weave together” and bears the meaning of complexifying. By folding a network of accomplices, the program aims to create a kind of virtual publishing space, bringing together complex and multiple perspectives, a platform for research and a convivial web to collectively activate proposals of readership and archiving.

Unpacking our Library is a strain of Publishing Practices, core formation of Archive’s program, committed to an expanded idea of publishing, that triggers and holds a space for study, action and multisensorial gatherings. Publishing Practices is curated by Chiara Figone, Paz Guevara and Beya Othmani.

4.00 pm – 5:30 pm: Join our internal preparation. Process and informal conversation with Archive members and guest speakers is open to interested audiences by registration to this email: amelie@archivebooks.org.
7.30 pm: Public session starts. No registration is needed. 
Özlem Kaya is one of the founders and appointed director of Hafiza Merkezi Berlin, a hub for civil society exchange to confront increasing authoritarianism, and advocate for gender equality within and beyond human rights movement. While working at Hafıza Merkezi, a HRO in İstanbul, she was responsible for the documentation of enforced disappearances, peace advocacy work and drafted several reports. Özlem Kaya is actively engaged with feminist organisations in Turkey since the last 15 years, i.e. Socialist Feminist Collective and Istanbul Feminist Collective. She is one of the founders and editors of the feminist online blog Çatlak Zemin, and has been in the editorial board of Feminist Politika. She holds a MA in Sociology from Middle East Technical University and trained in Modern Turkish History in Boğaziçi University.
Onur Çimen is a writer and researcher. He studied philosophy and art theory. Among recent works Çimen edited and translated the self-published i will not have a moment of silence either — collected writings of trans-activist Gani-Meth — and co-edited Oracular Visions, In the Darkness of the Night.

Our venue is wheelchair accessible.
We will have a person on site who can offer explanations and assistance if needed.
We are child-friendly and we can provide child care on demand.
Please contact us directly at amelie@archivebooks.org to register for child care (at least 24h in advance) and for further accessibility needs.

A negative antigen test, a proof of vaccination or of recovery will be required at the entrance. Please note that photographs will be taken throughout the event. These will be used on our website, our social media or in any third party publication. Please contact us if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity.

Activation #3

November 20, 2021
Language: English, with Turkish excerpts of readings.

Taking as a starting point the pages of crucial feminist periodicals from Turkey, Sosyalist Feminist Kaktüs/Socialist Feminist Cactus (1988-90) and Feminist Politika/ Feminist Politics (2009-today), Özlem Kaya, sociologist, feminist activist and human rights archivist, and Onur Çimen, writer and researcher, will experiment and explore strategies of collective readings and library activations. While reading and translating the archival materials, they will make connections between different generations of feminist positions and present today’s challenges and cultural practices.

Feminist Politika/ Feminist Politics (2009-2015) was a regular feminist journal published by the Socialist Feminist Collective in Turkey. A women-only group, the collective targeted contemporary forms of patriarchy under its mutual interaction with capitalism by situating the category of women’s labour at the core of its analysis. Throughout their pages, Feminist Politika headlines reflected their contemporary feminist position, such as “Women take ownership of their lives”, “There is life beyond family” and “Abortion right: Our uterus, our life, our decision”. A selection of issues of Feminist Politika/ Feminist Politics and Kaktüs/Cactus can be found in the Archive Inventory library, together with a selection of translations from Kaktüs/Cactus into English done by Onur Çimen and Özge Sena Çimen. A digitization ofFeminist Politika/ Feminist Politics can be accessed here.

SF Kaktüs/ SF Cactus (1988-90) was published by a collective of women in Turkey. Throughout their 12 issues, the periodical explored the mutually transforming relationship between feminism and socialism. The collective argued for women’s emancipation and positioned women’s issues as a central question for building a new society. While dealing with the problems of women in Turkey, the writers also fostered a practice of international solidarity. They wrote aboutwomen’s struggle across the world from Egypt to Nicaragua, and they were also in close contact with the Turkish diaspora, especially in Germany. All issues of the magazine can be accessed through the following link here.

From the archive

Unpacking our library, Activation #2

Unpacking our library, Activation #2

Ausgehend von den Praktiken der Community Bibliothek Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V. in Berlin-Wedding und der legendären Afro-deutschen Magazins Afro-Look (1987-1999) werden Michael Götting, Autor, Bibliothekar und Kurator, und Ricky Reiser, Aktivistin, Redakteurin und autodidaktische Künstlerin, mit Strategien des kollektiven Lesens und Bibliotheksaktivierungen experimentieren.

Unpacking our library, Activation #1

Unpacking our library, Activation #1

Taking as a starting point the pages of the feminist newspaper Kadinlarin Sesi (Women’s Voice), Pınar Öğrenci, artist and filmmaker, and Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu, curator, writer, and educator, explore strategies of collective reading and library activations. While reading the archival material, they make connec- tions between the experiences of former generations of women and today’s artistic and cultural practices. 

Unpacking our library, Activation #4

Unpacking our library, Activation #4

The fourth Unpacking our library activation invites Algerian writer and feminist Wassyla Tamzali to experiment and explore strategies of collective readings and library activations in conversation with the 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘬 research team composed by artist Touda Bouanani, curator Lea Morin and publisher Maya Ouabadi.

Unpacking our library, Activation #3

Unpacking our library, Activation #3

Feminist Politika/ Feminist Politics (2009-2015) was a regular feminist journal published by the Socialist Feminist Collective in Turkey. A women-only group, the collective targeted contemporary forms of patriarchy under its mutual interaction with capitalism by situating the category of women’s labour at the core of its analysis.