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What is Canımız Sokakta?
Canımız Sokakta (‘we’re alive on the streets’ in Turkish) believes that being free from harassment is a human right. Founded in April 2011, Canımız Sokakta was created as a response to the frequent complaints of street harassment voiced by many women and men. Initially, a group of six young women, both Turkish and expatriate, established Canımız Sokakta as the Istanbul branch of the international Hollaback! network to map harassment around the world, but we knew that blogging wasn’t enough. Moving past virtual solutions, our group recognized the disparity between the high prevalence of street harassment and the silence surrounding street harassment, and we initiated localized solutions to bring awareness and activism to the streets of Istanbul and Turkey at large.
The mission of our group is to end the culture of street harassment of all types against all types. Our goals are:
Who is Canımız Sokakta?
We are predominately volunteers; professionals and students, Turks and expats, women and men. Every volunteer is deeply involved in our many campaigns and social efforts, and we encourage our volunteers to spearhead projects (individually and in groups) related to their personal interests, which has led us far. They have produced diverse and inspired forms of activism, such as our “I’ve Got Your Back!//Arkani Kolluyorum!” campaign, surveys on the perceptions of harassment , and our film screenings.
Ezgi Çinçin graduated from Boğaziçi University Preschool Education Department. Her studies and interest in gender roles lead her to Hollaback! İstanbul / Canımız Sokakta and eventually to the role of Programs Director.
Attorney Nihan Güneli graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University’s Faculty of Law in 2009, and completed an Information and Technology L.LM. Program with honors from the same university in 2012. Nihan Guneli, founding partner at Guneli & Koc Law Firm [INSERT LINK http://gunelikoc.com/], is a co-founder of Canımız Sokakta and is the legal counselor of the movement. Whilst giving lectures and seminars on registered electronic mail and social media law at universities and public entities, she is also writing about intellectual property and information technology law for several publications. For legal inquiries regarding street harassment, please contact Nihan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Nihan on Twitter: @NihanGuneli
At the age of 24, Kacie Lyn Kocher founded Canımız Sokakta, seeking to engender localized, community-empowered solutions against street harassment. As the Director, she has dedicated herself to building a young women-driven organization that builds on Turkey’s zeal for gadgets to bring awareness to the pervasive problem that affects so many of us. Currently, a Master’s candidate at the London School of Economics, she now serves as the Long-term Sustainability Director.
What we do
With a multidimensional view of harassment, our work addresses economic autonomy, body image, and building the agency to respond to systemic challenges of rape culture and discrimination. In Istanbul, we approach harassment through working in three spheres: online, universities, the community:
We manage a Hollaback! blog, enabling us to map harassment stories, provide resources for victims and bystanders, and launch online campaigns with videos, pictures, and discussions. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.
Passionate that students are at the forefront of making substantial, lasting societal change, we started the safety campus project Canimiz Kampuste (‘we are alive on campus’) which has included panels, film screenings, workshops, and story walls at eight universities over four semesters. To bring Canimiz Kampuste to your campus, contact Ezgi at email@example.com
To cultivate community-wide discourse, we co-hosted a free community events that have included screening ‘Miss Representation’, story-sharing sessions moderated by a psychologist and lawyer and art nights.
What is Hollaback?
Started in NYC by seven men and women in 2005, the blog format allowed people who face the aggressive, hostile, and inappropriate environments, which is to say most people, to share their experiences. Virtually addressing the sexism, racism and homophobia we see on the streets, Hollaback has grown into a global movement based on confident responses and mounting a worldwide challenges to harassment of every kind.
Hollaback! is all about your right to be you: a person who never has to take it or just keep walking, but one who has a badass response when s/he’s messed with. Someone who knows that s/he has the right to define her/himself on the street instead of being defined by some creep’s point of view. Because none of us are as simple as a list of physical attributes. We have a right to be who we are, not who we are told to be. We have a right to define ourselves on our own terms when we walk out the door, whatever that means that day. That hour. That minute.
Because if street harassment is considered acceptable, then so is gender and race based violence. And that is just simply unacceptable.
Interested to know more about the international Hollaback! movement? Visit their website.
What does it meant to Hollaback?
To Holla: Derived from the word, holler which literally means to call out, shout, or yell; holla refers to cat-calling and verbal harassment targeted at a victim.
To Hollaback: This means to respond and not stay quiet to those holla-ing at you.
We believe in the importance of collaboration, discourse, and participation. We’d love to hear feedback, ideas, and collaboration opportunities. Have any skills or extra hours to share with our cause? Contact us too!
Contact our legal counsel Nihan Guneli directly: firstname.lastname@example.org