Ahmet Öğüt & The Silent University Orientation Program

The Silent University Orientation Program

Ahmet Öğüt & Silent University Orientation Program

The Silent University is an international education platform, initiated by Ahmet Öğüt. Founded in 2012, the platform currently has active branches in Stockholm and Ruhr (Mulheim). Previously there were branches in Amman, Athens, London, Hamburg, and Copenhagen. The main motivation of the platform is the belief that everybody has the right to educate, and that the systemic failure is no excuse to outlaw those who are seeking asylum. To establish this goal, the platform offers transversal pedagogical programs led by lecturers, consultants and research fellows who are displaced people and forced migrants. The platform operates without language limitations or bureaucratic obstacles. For the 17th Istanbul Biennial, The Silent University organized several online lectures and on-site events under the supervision of Ahmet Öğüt in collaboration with Kunstverein in Hamburg. The program focused on surpassing the limitations of border politics and acting in solidarity with collectives around the world. During the biennial, The Silent University Orientation Program team (Ahmet Öğüt, Suha Nabhan, Amal Jibril, Yelta Köm) conducted local research and worked interactively at and in collaboration with SAHA Studio, in parallel to their presentation at Müze Gazhane.

Ahmet Öğüt is a sociocultural initiator, artist, and lecturer. Working across a variety of media, including photography, video, and installation, Öğüt often uses humor and small gestures to offer his commentary on rather serious or pressing social and political issues. Öğüt is regularly collaborating with people from outside of the art world to create shifts in the perception of the common. He has exhibited widely, and taught at several schools around the world, among which are Institut für Kunst im Kontext at Universität der Künste Berlin; Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht; Sandberg Institute Amsterdam; Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki; TransArts - Transdisziplinäre Kunst, Institut für Bildende und Mediale Kunst Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien; and DAI Arnhem. Öğüt was awarded the Visible Award for the Silent University in 2013, in addition to the special prize of the Future Generation Art Prize by Pinchuk Art Centre in 2012; the De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs in 2011; and the Kunstpreis Europas Zukunft in 2010. Öğüt has co-represented Turkey at the 53rdVenice Biennale in 2009.

Suha Nabhan is a strategic communications specialist from Syria and Palestine. Having founded a couple of projects in Syria, she worked on several strategic communication campaigns focused on raising awareness for migrants from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East with international organizations. Currently based in Istanbul, Nabhan continues to work as the co-founder and strategic director of Migration Jam with the aim to change the mainstream negative narrative about migration through storytelling.

Amal Jibril is a driven creative behavior change communications expert with a knack for developmental solutions and storytelling. Jibril has experience in Community Outreach, Behavioral Change Communications, Storytelling And Event Organization and Coordination. She worked in the deep field and country offices with the UNHCR in International Protection, Humanitarian Assistance, Case Management, Economic Inclusion, and Behavioral Change Communications. She continues to live and work in Istanbul as the co-founder and creative director of Migration Jam.

Yelta Köm is an architect, artist, and researcher who incorporated architecture, artistic and spatial practices, to discuss social and political issues. His work is mainly influenced by the perception of the environment, the image of the city, neoliberal transformations, the tension between nature and technology, and collective movements. Landforms, technology, critical spatial and communing practices, urban and data surveillance methodologies, architectural technology, mapping systems, literal and cinematographic storytelling as well as questioning representation techniques are core components of his practice. He was the associate curator of the Vardiya exhibition at the Pavilion of Turkey at Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018 and curated the Caution! Slippery Ground exhibition at Istanbul Modern Museum in 2016. He collaborated actively with Studio Tomàs Saraceno and Aerocene Foundation between 2015-2019. He is co-founder of Herkes Icin Mimarlik [Architecture for All] and a member of Arazi Collective. Recently, he assumed the exhibition design of Füsun Onur’s Once Upon a time… exhibited during 59th Venice Biennale. Köm is currently a researcher at the Topological Atlas project hosted by TU Delft and a guest lecturer at Berlin International University of Applied Sciences.

The Silent University Orientation Program Team


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