Özlem Savaş


Dr. Özlem Savaş is a media scholar from Turkey who will research the affective digital networks of solidarity and politics of new migrants from Turkey. This research focuses on affective and emotional forms of diasporic solidarity and politics that emerge and operate from digital networks of new migrants from Turkey. Due to the recent increase in political repression and turmoil in Turkey, a growing number of people – mostly intellectuals, academics, journalist, artists, and students - are leaving Turkey and settling around the globe, most are going to Europe, especially Germany. With the aim of achieving solidarity and collaboration, new migrants from Turkey have established social and political networks in digital media across websites, blogs, online groups, e-mail lists, and social networking sites, and created their own media using digital technologies and platforms.

These digital networks are strikingly invested with profound feelings of solidarity, hope, fear, anger, despair, anxiety, overwhelm and impasse, which take on collective, public, and political characters. Although uses of digital media for diasporic solidarity and politics have gained plenty of scholarly attention in recent years, the roles affective and emotional states of digital media play in diasporic politics have remained unexplored. This research aims to explore how digital circulation and archives of affects, emotions, and feelings shape, reshape, transform, and expand political horizons and possibilities – that is, imaginations, desires, goals, tactics, strategies, and actions – in a diasporic context. Through employing an engaged, committed, and collaborative ethnographic methodology, this research aims to expand both the scholarly knowledge about and the practice of digitally mediated diasporic politics. This multidisciplinary research seeks to strengthen dialogues between digital media studies, cultural studies of affect, feeling, and emotion, and sociological and anthropological studies of diasporic politics and of social and political networks.