To our great surprise, we were accepted at two prestigious conferences as speakers to present a paper on our topic. These were the following:
- SOCIOCRI’15 – Sociology and Critical Perspectives on Social Movements coordinated by DAKAM, Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Centre and supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Istanbul
- Collective Behaviour and Social Movements conference and workshop 2015 hosted by the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago
Once we had finished celebrating our acceptance, our next step was to write the conference essay that would accompany our presentation. We then passed the essay to our professor for his critical review while applying to the Karlshochschule for funding. On receiving partial funding from the university, we registered for the conference and booked our tickets and accommodation.
On the Shores of the Bosporus
Hosted by DAKAM, SOCIOCRI’15 is a sociology conference. In 2015, the conference was dedicated to social movements, which made it an ideal platform for our topic. For more information on the conference, go to http://www.sociocriconference.org/, DAKAM or the Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Centre, was established in 2010 as a network of scholars from different disciplines with a mission to become a forum where researchers and experts from all over the world could meet in Istanbul and exchange ideas and discuss the future of their field. The organisation forms its principles on the basis of a critical perspective, an interdisciplinary approach and social responsibility. As an independent academic platform, its tasks are to share, publicize and support the academic research in the region. To strengthen the ties between science and society, scientific information has to be delivered free of any limitation. DAKAM aims to create a platform to link different cities in the world, to bring together academy and sector experts and to connect different fields. Visit http://www.dakam.org/ for more information on DAKAM.
The Grand Bazaar of Presentations
SOCIOCRI’15 was a two-day conference. On day 1 we listened to two speakers. Professor Doctor Sibel KALAYCIO?LU, of the Middle East Technical University, spoke about the shifting of rights and rights-based movements focussing on justice and fairness, dilemmas of rights, equalities and fairness, rights and rights struggles based on social class and intersectionality as an approach to justice and fairness issues.
The second speaker, Associate Professor Justus Uitermark, from the University of Amsterdam, focussed on the topic of social movement theory using complexity theory to research the unpredictability of social movements. He covered topics such as the resistance of social movements to leadership and formalisation, the challenge of institutionalisation, the complexity and chaos that movements bring with them, the resistance against and struggle for autonomy from established order and the emotional connection that urban space creates within protestors and the audience. Professor Uitermark’s presentation resonated with us tremendously as our own paper on LXAMANHA had uncovered similar problems and challenges.
The second half of day 1 was dedicated to panel discussions that dealt with topics such as social problems and urban movements and social problems and rights-based struggles. The panels consisted of members from organisations such as Greenpeace Turkey, Transparency International Turkey, Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey, and (Equality Watch Women’s Group) European Commission Turkey Istanbul Convention Woman Monitoring Platform and Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association.
The first day had been exciting. But the next day was our presentation and we were nervous. We were presenting to academic scholars and we were hoping to make a good impression.