16 June 2021 18:00

While today’s sovereign regimes connect humans and all other non-human beings globally in lethal ways, they also attempt to eradicate all possible forms of collective organizing for a better life. What meanings does the word “solidarity” obtain in such an era?

What does the 1980s Solidarity Movement in Poland, a movement that emerged at a critical time of capitalism’s reconstruction efforts tell us today? What are its potentialities? In today’s world, how can we problematize forms of solidarity institutionalized under the name of humanitarian aid? Is solidarity an obligation? What other motivations can inform/trigger solidarity? How does solidarity relate to community, ethics and politics? Can we imagine another solidarity outside of the model of sovereignty?

In their talk, Meltem Ahıska & Saygun Gökarıksel discuss contemporary questions around solidarity in light of near and distant examples.


Meltem Ahıska is professor of sociology at Boğaziçi University. Her articles on orientalism/occidentalism, critical theory, public memory, and gender have been published by numerous periodicals and edited books. She is a member of the advisory board of e-journal Red-Thread and Critical Times. Having founded and participated in publishing collectives like Akıntıya KarşıZeminDefterPazartesi, Ahıska is the author of Occidentalism in Turkey: Questions of Modernity and National Identity in Turkish Radio Broadcasting (2010) as well as  books of poetryHavalandırma (2002), Anda (2008) and Yad (2020).

Saygun Gökarıksel is assistant professor of sociology at Boğaziçi University. He has been working in the fields of legal, political, and historical anthropology, focusing on themes of transitional justice, human rights, archives, citizenship, state and class formation, and social movements in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. His writing has appeared in different international journals including Dialectical AnthropologySouth Atlantic Quarterly, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. He completed his PhD in Anthropology at the City University of New York, Graduate Center in 2015 with the thesis entitled, “Of Truths, Secrets, and Loyalties: Political Belonging and State Building in Poland after State Socialism”.