EVİN BARIŞ ALTINTAŞ
PLATFORM FOR INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM P24
We propose an online archive, cataloguing thousands of hours of new footage, testimony and oral history to help the public come to terms with Gezi, a landmark event for a society unused to large scale urban protest. The project will help preserve the memory of Gezi, which was suppressed brutally, in collective consciousness to inspire a sense of environmental and social justice.The project will be open to citizen contributions, documenting other peaceful demonstrations in the spirit of Gezi.
The right to protest and the need to hold government accountable are keystones of a democratic society. These liberties have become dislodged in recent years in Turkey, and increasingly, communities are unable to protect their local culture and environment. The very act of protest is too often depicted as an attempt to overthrow the state. Thus, it is necessary to enshrine – through documentation – a tradition of legitimate democratic protest.
We believe there should always be a witness, a camera rolling when citizens come into conflict with authority—be in the heart of Istanbul or a hydro-electric dam site on a remote tributary. It is important for the courts, public opinion let alone social historians that there be a reliable platform for such witness. In one year's time we will have established the Demo24 website as a reliable platform for remembrance and archive; the kind of which does not exist today in Turkey.
We have already assembled the team to set up a transmedia site and have unique and previously undisclosed footage from the 2013 Gezi protests. First, we will edit the raw footage into a full-length documentary that will be accessible on Demo24.org, the site that will host our project. Then, we will complete the design of the site as an online museum, telling the history of demonstration as well as making real time documentation of ongoing protests across Turkey available through an interactive map. The next step would be to launch the site and provide access to others, who are willing to contribute new footage and make use of the existing material. When these are complete, Demo24 will be the go-to address for witnesses, and documenters as well as students of public protests.
Concerned citizens, film makers, photo journalists, lawyers, environmental activists and NGOs, academics, news outlets; even future historians. The ultimate beneficiaries are members of the general public, both in Turkey and abroad, who are interested in understanding social history in the making. The existence of such detailed documentation will prevent, in time, excessive use of force by the police and also potential violent acts by those among the protesters; another benefit to the public.
Currently there is no conscious effort in Turkey to enable people who are witnessing and documenting street protests, especially in remote areas. In these extraordinary times, the idea of creating an archival space to “witness, document and remember” and fight impunity, is unconventional; even daring. We have heard of no clear attempt to offer funding to people filming (what will be valuable evidence) at demonstrations.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Web site development (17000 EUR) , post production of documentary (34000EUR ), personnel costs(20000EUR ), office and equipment (10000EUR ).
We would welcome any feedback that can help us improve our project and expand our vision. Thank you for any comments and suggestions.