Far In Far Out: Turkey – On the power of dreaming in authoritarian nightmares

Project leaders: Serra Ciliv and Çağla Aykaç 

(read their bios here)

This research is a journey based on the friendship of two women from Turkey who are training to facilitate the world through the paradigm of processwork. The seeds of this project were planted during the 2017 Processwork and CFOR Intensive taught and facilitated by Arlene Audergon and Jean-Claude Audergon, at a time of serious regressions in democratic rights and intense political oppression in Turkey.

As a team of researchers, Serra and Çağla are interested in collective trauma through the lived experiences of minority citizens and political opponents in Turkey, as well as the lived experiences of their abusers.  They are interested in particular moments in the history of modern Turkey where the goods, lands, spaces of worship and community, languages and culture, or simply the bare lives of certain individuals and groups were appropriated and/or destroyed, as they were forcefully expelled from their own lives.  Their work is grounded in their awareness of the signs and impacts of intergenerational trauma, and the realities of forced displacement, incarceration, exile, fugitivity and survival.

In this research, Serra and Çağla work with their own and their community members’ individual and intimate experiences of the world and political violence.  Their relationship is one of the main channels through which they process individual and collective trauma and engage in conflicts through different channels of dreaming to explore forms of affective solidarity, and deep democracy. They work through/with their own respective national, cultural, religious and political identities, as well as their differences, their privileges, their dreams and nightmares, their body symptoms, altered states and body practices.

As a matter of urgency and necessity, they are interested in different forms of individual and collective power in regimes of oppression. They believe that community dialogue plays a key role in developing and sharing skills to stay present in our world, connecting and amplifying already existing threads of dreaming and alliances in the field, as they train to stand for themselves and others, unfolding and revealing new possibilities.

The design and dreaming of this research and community dialogue, including the outreach to participants will include people who feel the intensifying pressures of life within /outside Turkey and whose work and dreaming have so far contributed to visions of equality, justice and diversity of ecosystems, with different forms of anti-violent practice and narratives. This research takes place under the supervision of Arlene Audergon, and will be inspired by many other processworkers who have worked on political oppression, ecology of mind, and peace processes around the world.