On January 29th, Nayat Karaköseoglu, a 2014 AHDA alumna and a program coordinator at the Hrant Dink Foundation
, participated in a panel entitled, “Topographies of Memory: Exchanging Knowledge and Best Practices.” The aim of the panel was to look at memorialization projects that use and implement a variety of technological tools, with the goal of increasing the efficacy of efforts against social amnesia and the politics of oblivion: Online maps, websites, applications for smartphones and guided tours incorporating sites of memory are among effective methods for reactivating the memory of places.
Joining Nayat on the panel was fellow 2014 AHDA alumnus Oriol López Badell, from University of Barcelona, European Observatory of Memories
(EUROM). Both fellows have a special interest in the field of memory studies and the success of the panel further increased the enthusiasm of both AHDA alumni to continue carrying out their work in the field and to pave the way for new collaborations between the Hrant Dink Foundation and EUROM in the future.
Since September 2015, Nayat has been coordinating a preliminary project which aims to develop a site of memory with a special focus on Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who, in 2007, was assassinated in front of the Agos newspaper that he founded. The site will focus in part on the story of Hrant Dink’s story and Agos, but will also serve as a place to cover broader issues related to Armenians, the cultural heritage of non-Muslim minorities of Anatolia, and minority rights. Nayat is particularly interested in sites of memory as means of remembering, raising awareness, promoting mutual understanding and dealing with violent pasts.
Since its establishment, The Hrant Dink Foundation has carried out programs dedicated to protecting human rights and minority rights in Turkey, to writing histories devoid of nationalism, to implementing projects that encourage dealing with the past, to preserving the culture of minorities in the country, to researching hate speech, and to normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations.
As the Hrant Dink Foundation gives special importance to the protection and promotion of the cultural heritage, the Foundation started implementing the project ‘“Revealing and Advocating the Cultural Heritage of Anatolia” in 2014. The Hrant Dink Foundation began conducting research to create an inventory that will serve to spread information about the social, cultural, and religious structures built by the non-Muslim communities in Anatolia and to report structures in urgent need for preservation. To achieve these objectives, an inventory on the schools, monasteries, churches, and synagogues built by the non-Muslim communities was created. These structures are also mapped on an interactive map of Turkey, which is available at http://www.turkiyekulturvarliklari.com/