Solidarity Call for Video Activist Kazım Kızıl and Other Imprisoned People in Turkey

by Mine Gencel Bek

“I document protests and resistance. The police are on one side and the protesters are on the other side and I am not photographing this from the outside. I am on the side of the protesters. I use photography and video as a tool.” (https://www.facebook.com/kazimaozgurluk/)

These words belong to Kazım Kızıl, an imprisoned video activist of Turkey. There is an intensive pressure on the whole range of critical voices including the journalists, academics and artists in Turkey in the recent years, especially after the extra emergency conditions following the coup attempt on July 15th.  Video-activist Kazım Kızıl was arrested last month while covering the protests questioning the illegitimacy of the recent referendum in Izmir. He is in prison now.  The charges are insulting the president in his tweets in the past.

Kazım Kızıl is a video activist as well as photographer and documentary director. His documentary, Ölmez Ağaç: Yırca Direnişi (2014)  (The Tree of Eternity: The Yırca Resistance), shows the peasants resistance against the expropriation of their land by the state and the commercial firms. Neredesin Arkadaşım? (Where are you buddy?) (2017), his latest documentary on child labour was shown in the International Workers Films festival in May.

His videos are mostly few minutes short videos, without narration, just the record of the event  sometimes with music. In some videos, there are short interviews. Environmental destruction on nature and labour are the issues being shown not only in his documentaries but also in his videos such as Urban developments against environment, Soma miners’ death and workers strike. His sensitivity on the violence and resistance in the Kurdish regions are seen in many videos including Diyarbakır Newroz celebration, 2016 Cizre after attack.

Cumartesi mothers; mothers of those who disappeared, feminist protests against violence and sexism  and LGBT pride walk are the videos of the struggle of women and LGBT for freedom and human rights. Freedom of press and the commemoration of different anniversaries such as Ankara 10 October ISIS bombing of peace demonstrators, Sivas massacre, Roboski massacre and commemoration of people killed at Gezi resistance are the videos as such.  Police brutalism in demonstrations are the issues covered in many videos (for example, see https://vimeo.com/154627338, https://vimeo.com/150209612 and https://vimeo.com/12679039).

Lately, he focused on the refugees in his videos as seen on the video of Syrian refugee children being killed and camp life of refugees.

HOW TO SUPPORT KAZIM KIZIL?

·       Distribute in the social media and increase the awareness:

Facebook page

Twitter campaigns: #KazımKızılVicdanımızdır #FreeKazım #KaKızılaÖzgürlük #FreeKa

·       Sign this petition for solidarity

·       There is also a blog page in which the collected signatures from supporting individuals and collectives are shown. In order to support him, send an e-mail to belgeseldayanisma@gmail.com.